AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson today denied reports stating that the DOJ requested CNN be spun off in order for the AT&T/Time Warner deal to pass antitrust regulations.
“I have never been told that the price of getting the deal done was selling CNN, period. And likewise I have never offered to sell CNN,” he said, per CNBC. “There is absolutely no intention that we would ever sell CNN.”
Stephenson went on to explain why Turner Broadcasting/CNN were so important: “There is a lot of information and data that we think can be used to stand up a new advertising business. Pairing that with the Turner advertising inventory is a really powerful thing, we believe. That is what we aspire to do. Selling CNN makes no sense in that context.”
He has indicated he is willing to take this issue to court if the need arises.