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Vox Sentences: AT&T: 1, Justice Department: 0

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AT&T will move forward with a potential monopoly; a game-changing name change in Europe.


AT&T gets the go-ahead Trump feared

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • A federal judge has approved AT&T’s $85 billion bid to buy Time Warner following a nearly seven-month court battle. The purchase, which was blocked by the US Department of Justice, will turn AT&T into a “media juggernaut,” owning a vast number of television companies and channels. [Vox / Emily Stewart]
  • Makan Delrahim, the antitrust chief of the Justice Department, said he will review Judge Richard J. Leon’s opinion before deciding if the government will try to challenge it again in a higher court. But Leon has warned taking this route could hurt the government’s case. [Washington Post / Tony Romm and Brian Fung]
  • The government has warned that customers could be stuck footing a significant bill for the merger, paying up to $571 million more by the year 2021 for AT&T-owned cable networks, including CNN and TNT. But that would equal out to a monthly increase of about 45 cents per subscriber. [CNN / David Goldman]
  • One of the reasons this is such a big deal is that AT&T could own companies that are creating content like TV shows, which are being streamed online (like HBO and others). These companies are essentially becoming more corporate. [The Verge / Russell Brandom]
  • Following the decision, Comcast has put in its own bid for major Fox television and film assets ... basically, it wants to be competitive in this sphere as well. [BBC]
  • CVS and T-Mobile will likely see the decision as a green light to create potential, clearer monopolies of their own. [NYT / Cecilia Kang, Brooks Barnes, and Michael J. de la Merced]
  • While AT&T’s prices may not rise, the company could have a lot more ability to make its competitors respond by raising their prices. And that could hurt consumers. [Market Watch / Jacob Passy]

Greece and Macedonia tender a controversial deal

  • Greece and the Republic of Macedonia have come to an agreement that Macedonia will start the process of changing its name. In return, Greece will no longer block Macedonia from joining the European Union and NATO. [AP / Elena Becatoros and Jasmina Mironski]
  • The agreement between the two neighbors is nearly 30 years in the making, with a long history of protests, failed mediations, and even accusations of treason. [NYT / Niki Kitsantonis]
  • Though seemingly inconsequential from an outsider’s perspective, the name debate ”is seen by both [Grecians and Macedonians] as existential and essential to national identity.” [NPR / Joanna Kakissis]
  • Though the deal was tendered with the support of the left-leaning government by Macedonia’s prime minister, Zoran Zaev, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov said he will not sign off on the agreement. [ABC]
  • Along with a referendum, two-thirds of parliament will also need to sign off in order for the name change to pass. [Independent / Kole Casule]

Miscellaneous

  • Because the rich rarely learn their lesson, Billy McFarland, founder of the infamous Fyre Festival, was caught “running a fraudulent ticket-selling scam” while out on bail ... for fraud charges. [Variety]
  • Alec Baldwin claims he would win if he went up against Trump in the 2020 presidential election. Though he says the decisions he wants to make as president are “obvious,” he’s missing the most obvious point of all: America doesn’t need another TV president. [A.V. Club / Katie Rife]
  • ”The Trump from Pahrump,” Dennis Hof, has won the GOP primary for the state legislature in Nevada. Hof is a self-proclaimed “pimp” who owns several brothels in Nevada and stars in an adult reality TV show on HBO. [Slate / Molly Olmstead]
  • A proposed bill in California will require companies to put at least one woman on their board by 2019. Though it would be nice to see women there by choice, this is certainly a step in the right direction. [Racked / Chavie Lieber]

Verbatim

“I feel like this new generation is filled with vigor and they mean business. Of course, I also mean business, but they make me feel like — if I don’t gear up and figure out how to get involved, I failed them. I do not want to fail them.” [Musician and Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland on the importance of staying politically informed and involved / Broadly]


Watch this: Diets, explained

Netflix/Vox

Atkins. Paleo. Keto. Do any work in the long term? Experts look at marketing, food environments, and genes to explain why so many diets fail. [Netflix]


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