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Justice Department calls AT&T deal for Time Warner 'illegal' and 'harmful' to consumers

The Justice Department sued on Monday to block AT&T's merger with Time Warner, calling it an "illegal" combination that harms consumers and stifles innovation, DOJ officials said.

AT&T and Time Warner announced their $85 billion merger last year, but the closing has been dragged out by the government's antitrust review.

It is the latest salvo in a drama more than one year in the making. Earlier this month, reports circulated that the government had demanded AT&T sell Turner Broadcasting, operator of the CNN news network, or DirectTV as a condition of approval, though the government pushed back at those reports.

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