Sources: U.S., AT&T Discussing Conditions Regarding Time Warner Deal

Sources that are familiar with the situation say that the U.S. Department of Justice and AT&T Inc are talking about possible conditions as part of winning government approval of the U.S. No. 2 wireless carrier’s acquisition of Time Warner Inc amounting to $85.4 billion (£65.1 billion).

“Vertical mergers like this one are routinely approved because they benefit consumers without removing any competitor from the market,” stated a spokesperson from AT&T. “While we won’t comment on our discussions with DOJ, we can say that this transaction should be no exception.”

The Justice Department did not immediately answer to a request for comment.

Earlier on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Justice Department was thinking about suing to hinder the deal and the two sides were not close to making an agreement.

The shares of Time Warner were down 4 percent at $94.45, while the shares of AT&T were slightly lower.

Previously, AT&T has said that the deal is expected to close by the end of 2017.