AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has said that he would never sell CNN as a condition of purchasing Time Warner. Yet a report from Bloomberg paints a different picture.
The AT&T executive said, “There is absolutely no intention that we would ever sell CNN.”
But in the Bloomberg report, he raised the possibility of selling CNN during a November meeting with the Justice Department’s antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim, according to the CEO’s deposition cited by the government in a court filing Thursday.
According to a transcript, he was questioned by a Justice Department lawyer about the meeting with Delrahim.
“And during that meeting, you raised the subject of CNN?” the Justice Department lawyer said.
“I did,” Stephenson said.
“OK. And you were the first one to raise the subject of CNN?”
“Oh, yeah,” said Stephenson, who went on to say, “I asked Mr. Delrahim, I think my language, this will be pretty close: ‘If I were to walk in here tomorrow and tell you I had gotten my head around selling CNN, would that allow you to wave this deal through?’”