Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks to supporters at a rally in Tampa, Fla. (Andres Leiva/Tampa Bay Times via AP)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said she will expect “thorough” regulatory scrutiny of AT&T’s proposed purchase of Time Warner Inc. for $85.4 billion — but didn’t go as far as her Republican rival.
“It raises questions and concerns, and they should be looked into,” Clinton told reporters Wednesday on a plane ride to New York from campaigning in Florida.
Clinton is the latest politician to weigh in on the deal, announced over the weekend, which is likely to face a challenging quest for government approval. Republican nominee Donald Trump has already said his administration would block the deal if he were to prevail in the election.
The Senate antitrust subcommittee will hold a hearing on the deal next month, according to chairman Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), the top Democrat.
Clinton called the planned bipartisan review “appropriate.”
“I’m going to follow up closely, and obviously if I’m fortunate to be the president, I will expect the government to conduct a very thorough analysis before making a decision,” she said.
Lawmakers including Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) have expressed reservations about the deal’s potential effects on consumers. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Clinton’s former competitor for the Democratic nomination, has encouraged the government to kill the deal.
AT&T, based in Dallas, is one of the nation’s largest telecommunications firms, and its acquisition of New York-headquartered Time Warner — which owns HBO, the Warner Bros. studio and Turner Broadcasting — would make it the nation’s biggest entertainment company.
Company executives have expressed confidence that the merger will be approved, but the political climate ahead of the election has rattled some investors. Both companies’ stocks slid Monday, the first trading day after the deal was announced, partly on concerns about regulatory hurdles.
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