WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, issued the following statement in response to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to reject the Justice Department’s bid to stop AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner.
“Today’s disappointing D.C. Circuit decision, rejecting the government’s challenge to AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, is a setback for competition and American consumers. While I would support Justice Department efforts to pursue further appeals, I also strongly urge the Department to commit to conducting follow-up retrospective reviews of the markets affected by this merger to determine if further enforcement action is warranted.”
Klobuchar has previously expressed concerns about this merger, including in a letter to the Justice Department in May following reports that AT&T made payments to the President’s personal lawyer and urged the Department of Justice to oppose attempts to interfere with antitrust law enforcement actions. Klobuchar and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition, Policy and Consumer Rights, wrote a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions in February of 2017 outlining their antitrust concerns on the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner, Inc. They held a Subcommittee hearing on the subject in December 2016.
As Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, Klobuchar has championed efforts to protect consumers, promote competition, and fight consolidation in several industries including the agriculture, telecommunications, and pharmaceutical industry. She has led the fight against anticompetitive conduct in the pharmaceutical industry that increase prescription drug prices, including authoring multiple pieces of legislation such as the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act to prevent abusive tactics that prevent affordable drugs from entering the market and the bipartisan Preserve Access to Affordable Generics and Biosimilars Act to crack down on anti-competitive pay-offs in which branded companies pay their generic competitors not to compete as part of a patent settlement. She has called for strong antitrust review and enforcement to protect consumers from mergers that raise prices or harm competition, including the Comcast-Time Warner Cable, and Anheuser-Busch/Miller-Coors, and consolidation in the agricultural industry and the online travel industry. She has also led the call to protect the independence and integrity of the antitrust enforcement agencies from political interference by the administration.