Bloomberg Law – Big Law Business, The Washington Post(July 12, 2018; July 19, 2018), CNBC’s “Squawk Alley,” Law360, and Mobile World Live cover Jeffrey Blumenfeld’s perspective on the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) appeal of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s decision permitting AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner. Blumenfeld’s observations include noting that: The appeal may cause companies to pause on plans for industry vertical mergers pending the case’s outcome; the appeal shows the DOJ wants clarity on the AT&T/Time Warner merger and similar transactions and that the DOJ’s action means pending and future deals may come under increased scrutiny; the district court judge “simply credited everything that AT&T said and discounted almost everything the government said”; an appellate defeat could hinder “efforts to challenge similar vertical deals the future”; the appellate court might apply a burden of proof standard that the DOJ may have difficulty meeting in later cases; and, even if the DOJ loses, it could sue in the future to break up the merged entity if there were evidence of negative market impact or if, at a later date, there were evidence of anticompetitive conduct. (subscription required to access certain content)