Sen. Tim Kaine (D – Virginia) said he was looking skeptically AT&T’s $85 billion purchase of Time Warner, which owns properties like CNN and HBO.
In an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd that aired on Sunday, Hillary Clinton’s running mate said that he agreed with Sen. Al Franken’s concerns that the merger may lead to “higher costs, fewer choices, and even worse service for consumers.”
“I share those concerns and questions,” We’ve got to get to the bottom of them,” Kaine said. “Generally pro-competition. And less concentration I think is generally helpful, especially in the media. But this has just been announced, and I haven’t had a chance to dig into the details. But those are the kinds of questions that we need to be asking.”
Kaine isn’t the only figure on the presidential ballot this year who appears sceptical of the deal, which will likely face intense regulatory scrutiny.
During a speech on Saturday, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump pledged to block the acquisition on the grounds that it would give AT&T too much control of the telecom and media landscape.
“As an example of the power structure I’m fighting, AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few,” Trump said.
For AT&T, the acquisition would allow the company to be both the creator and distributor of media on television and the web, and would give the company the rights to popular properties including “Harry Potter,” HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” and the DC comic universe.
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