May 19, 2020

Appeals court approves AT&T's $81bn Time Warner acquisition

hotmaillogin
2 min
Appeals court approves AT&T's $81bn Time Warner acquisition

The United States Court of Appeals in Washington DC announced this week that it had cleared  AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner. The deal was completed in Q1 2018, with the approval of a federal judge. However, in an unexpected move, the Trump administration launched an antitrust lawsuit against the telecommunications and media giant, claiming that AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner would hurt competition, limit choices and increase prices for consumers to watch TV and movies.

The government’s opposition to the merger went against legal precedent, which has traditionally favored vertical mergers - mergers among companies that don’t directly compete. Following the incorporation of Time Warner into AT&T, the parent company now controls CNN, HBO, the Warner Bros. movie studio, “Game of Thrones,” sports programming and other shows.

“The government failed to meet its burden of proof” for its theory that costs for Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting content would increase after the merger, mainly through threats of programming “blackouts,” the judges wrote in response.

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According to the associated Press: “The idea behind the merger was to help AT&T — which claims about 25 million of the 90 million U.S. households that are pay TV customers — compete better with online rivals like Netflix, YouTube and Hulu.”

Matthew Cantor, an attorney focusing on telecom antitrust matters at Constantine Cannon in New York said that ““It seems to me that political considerations played into this. It’s odd that the Justice Department has gone after this merger as its principal merger case. ... This was a very tough case. It’s very hard to challenge a vertical merger.”

Donald Trump has repeatedly clashed with CNN over social media, even promising to “kill” the deal in 2016.

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Jun 10, 2021

G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve

G7
G7Summit
Sustainability
EU
3 min
Business Chief delves into what the G7 is and represents and what its 2021 summit hopes to achieve

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration. 

 

Who are the G7?

The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like. 

The merry band comprises:

  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States

Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.

 

Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda. 

 

When was the ‘G’ formed?

Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s. 

 

Why does the G7 exist?

At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted. 

 

The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability. 

 

It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations. 

 

Where is the 2021 G7 summit?

This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall. 
 

What will be discussed this year? 

After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”

 

The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values. 

 

According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.” 

 

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