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Representatives from telecom titan AT&T (T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report and cable giant Time Warner (TWX) have begun talking with U.S. antitrust officials regarding possible conditions that could ensure the authorization of their $85.4 billion merger, according to Bloomberg.

The early-stage discussions hint that government lawyers are nearly finished reviewing how AT&T's acquisition of the HBO and CNN parent would shape the media sector. It also illustrates that both sides have started discussing how to implement the merger without hurting rivals.

The Justice Department has come under fire from media and pay-TV competitors who argue that the tie-up would cause AT&T to favor the in-house programming that it would acquire. Democratic lawmakers have suggested the deal could lead to higher prices and fewer choices.

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