The Department of Justice's top antitrust enforcer told reporters late Tuesday afternoon that the Antitrust Division would continue to favor structural remedies—such as divestitures—in merger reviews despite losing its challenge of the AT&T (T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report , Time Warner (TWX) transaction.
"It does not change our views that structural remedies [are] the best way to protect American consumers," Makan Delrahim, chief of the DOJ Antitrust Division, said as he exited the courthouse following the decision by a federal judge to clear the $85.4 billion deal without conditions.
"We're going to read the opinion and see what the next steps are," he said as he pushed through a gaggle of camera crews and journalists in Washington. "We're obviously disappointed with the judge's decision."
Asked whether he was swayed by the judge's request that the DOJ not seek an emergency stay, Delrahim emphasized that the Constitution and legal statutes "allow for due process of all litigants."
As to how the decision would impact the agency's scrutiny of future vertical deals, such as a possible hostile bid by Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) - Get Comcast Corporation Class A Report for Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) - Get Fox Corporation Class A Report , Delrahim responded, "We're going to have to review the opinion and see what impact it will have on other mergers."
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