North Korea summit: Trump will stand firm on denuclearization, says Pompeo – MarketWatch

North Korea summit: Trump will stand firm on denuclearization, says Pompeo – MarketWatch

1141 COMMENTS SINGAPORE—President Donald Trump declared a summit meeting with Kim Jong Un had gone better than expected as he emerged after nearly four hours of talks with the North Korean leader aimed at bringing about Pyongyang’s nuclear disarmament.
The two men walked side-by-side outside the hotel on Sentosa Island where they met as Mr. Trump said they were “going right now for a signing,” without providing more details.
“We had a really fantastic meeting, a lot of progress, really very positive. I think better than anybody could have expected—top of the line,” Mr. Trump said.
They started the day by greeting each other before a row of alternating U.S. and North Korean flags. After a lengthy handshake, the two leaders exchanged a few words. “Nice to meet you, Mr. President,” Mr. Kim told Mr. Trump.
The men posed side by side for news cameras before settling in for a 38-minute, one-on-one meeting. They then brought in top advisers for another two hours of talks, before sharing a lunch that included prawn cocktail, beef short rib and vanilla ice cream.
“We’re going to have a great discussion,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s my honor and we will have a terrific relationship, I have no doubt.”
Mr. Kim said that “old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles in our way forward, but we overcame all of them and we are here today.”
Photos: Trump and Kim in Singapore for U.S.-North Korea Summit President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un shook hands at the beginning of a summit in Singapore North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump sign a joint document at the end of their summit on Tuesday. Evan Vucci/Associated Press 1 of 14 • • • • • The unprecedented meeting between the two leaders is enough for each side to claim an achievement. Mr. Trump became the only sitting U.S. president ever to meet with a North Korean leader and Mr. Kim cemented his place on the world stage.
The 13-second handshake, which was televised live around the world, marked the high point of an at-times surreal couple of days, extending the rapprochement of two men who only months ago were trading insults and threatening each other with nuclear attack.
On Monday night, the North Korean leader went on a sightseeing tour of Singapore, drawing crowds of bemused onlookers. On Tuesday, Dennis Rodman, the flamboyant retired basketball star who has befriended Mr. Kim, appeared in an emotional television interview from the city.
Not long ago, the U.S. and North Korean leaders were threatening each other with annihilation. But at the Singapore summit, it was all smiles and mutual appreciation between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. Photo: Getty “Getting a good picture everybody?” Mr. Trump asked photographers ahead of the lunch. “So we look nice and handsome and thin? Perfect.”
Mr. Trump, who had quarreled with some of the U.S.’s closest allies earlier in the week, was upbeat ahead of his encounter with Mr. Kim. “We will all know soon whether or not a real deal, unlike those of the past, can happen!” he wrote in a Twitter post earlier in the day.
The purpose of the summit, once envisioned as a way to solidify North Korea’s nuclear disarmament, shifted in recent weeks as the White House sought to play down expectations, most recently portraying it as an initial step toward that eventual goal, while ending more than six decades of enmity.
One possible outcome of the summit is a communique outlining the parameters for talks that would follow. Some White House officials say the historic handshake, and the opportunity for the two leaders to meet, may be the singular result.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in advance of the meeting said: “We’ll see how far we get.”
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a passionate proponent of the peace talks, said the meeting could herald the beginning of a process lasting up to two years or longer. “I think every South Korean’s attention is on Singapore. I too could not sleep last night,” Mr. Moon said during a meeting with his senior aides. He had earlier been watching the summit coverage on television with his advisers.
More high-level negotiations over thorny issues like the pace of North Korea’s denuclearization and a verification process ​to certify that the North has disarmed are slated to begin as early as next month.
The summit, which has drawn thousands of media representatives from all over the world to Singapore, has captured the attention of the American public in a way that few foreign policy issues have in recent years, said Frank Luntz, a Republican political consultant and pollster.
Kim Jong Un: The Rise of a Dictator Behind the modernized facade of Pyongyang, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un rules one of the world’s most repressive states. And he has proven to be far more brutal and strategic than anticipated. Photo Illustration: David Chan More than half of Americans, 53%, said they approved of Mr. Trump’s handling of North Korea in a CNN poll on May 10, up from 35% in November. Asked if they approved of the president’s decision to meet Mr. Kim, 77% said they did, up from 62% in March.
The summit is also drawing heightened attention in North Korea. The country’s media on Monday reported for the first time on the coming summit.
The report described the talks as being focused on a “permanent and durable peacekeeping mechanism” with the goal of “realizing the denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula.
A White House official called the report a “sign for optimism.”
As the day of the summit neared, North Korea’s main party newspaper published an editorial on Monday asserting the importance of every nation’s sovereignty. Without naming the U.S. or any countries, the article said that “genuine, equal relations” could be formed “only when independence of each country is maintained.”
“There can be no superior and inferior countries, and nations dominating others and those obliged to be dominated in the world,” it read.
Mr. Trump’s team was aware of the U.S. domestic political implications of the talks. White House aides have discussed seeking a commitment from North Korea to hand over its nuclear weapons within the next two years, administration officials said, an ambitious timetable that would coincide with a presidential re-election bid on Mr. Trump’s part.
Related Coverage
Capital Journal: Summit Puts Kim’s Words to the Test Kim Jong Un, Sightseeing Dictator, Takes Selfies in Singapore The Return of the Political-Risk Trade Kim Jong Un Seizes His Moment A Double-Edged Sword for North Korea Trump, Kim Jong Un Brace for High-Stakes Summit in Singapore The Art of the Foreign-Policy Deal: An Insider’s Guide to Trump’s Tactics From ‘Punk Kid’ to 21st Century Tyrant: Kim Jong Un Seizes His Moment Historic Handshakes: Past Presidential Summits Mr. Trump himself was intent on holding the meeting, initially resisting recommendations from top advisers, including national security adviser John Bolton, to cancel it on the night of May 23, when a senior North Korean official belittled Vice President Mike Pence and boasted about an arsenal that could devastate the U.S.
Mr. Trump finally made up his mind the next morning, opting to send what he called a “beautiful letter” on White House letterhead that called off the summit but didn’t shut the door entirely.
North Korea quickly issued a conciliatory response and, within two days, a White House team was sent to Singapore to arrange the summit.
To encourage North Korea to dismantle its nuclear arsenal, the U.S. prepared to offer North Korea “different, unique” security assurances that go beyond anything Washington offered in the past, Mr. Pompeo said Monday, in a possible allusion to a peace treaty and other assurances.
But Mr. Pompeo, who has led several rounds of talks with North Korea in recent months, said Washington wouldn’t agree to ease economic sanctions against Pyongyang unless “we get the outcome we are demanding”—complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.
The secretary of state declined to say whether the U.S. would agree to limit military operations on or near the Korean Peninsula by U.S. aircraft capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Nor would he say if the U.S. would be willing to negotiate over the number of U.S. forces stationed in South Korea .
Related Video North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was seen strolling about downtown Singapore with a large entourage Monday night, a day ahead of ​the​ summit with President Trump. Photo: LYNN BO BO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock In an earlier round of negotiations in September 2005, the U.S. issued a joint statement with North Korea and four other nations in which it affirmed that it had no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and “no intention to attack or invade” North Korea with nuclear or conventional weapons. But those negotiations faltered when the North balked at wide-ranging inspections.
This week’s summit came together rapidly by diplomatic standards, without painstaking advance work by lower-level officials. Some of the pre-summit talks were handled for the U.S. by Sung Kim, a State Department veteran of past nuclear talks, and for North Korea by Vice Minister Choe Son Hui.
Tuesday’s summit came after the two leaders and their governments spent months trading insults. Mr. Trump mocked Mr. Kim, calling him last year “Rocket Man” in an address before the United Nations General Assembly, while North Korea threatened to launch missiles at the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam and to explode a nuclear device over the Pacific Ocean.
—Andrew Jeong and Niharika Mandhana contributed to this article.
Write to Michael C. Bender at Mike.Bender@wsj.com , Michael R. Gordon at michael.gordon@wsj.com and Jonathan Cheng at jonathan.cheng@wsj.com

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Dennis Rodman on CNN: 'I got so many death threats' after trip to North Korea

CLOSE Former NBA star Dennis Rodman got emotional during a CNN interview while talking about the historic Singapore Summit. USA TODAY
Retired American professional basketball player Dennis Rodman speaks to the press as he arrives at Singapore’s Changi Airport ahead of the U.S.-North Korea summit on Monday. (Photo: Adek Berry, AFP/Getty Images)
CONNECT TWEET LINKEDIN 4 COMMENT EMAIL MORE As President Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore for their historic summit to discuss nuclear weapons, one of their few common bonds was delivering an emotional, head-scratching interview on CNN.
NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman, who arrived in Singapore ahead of the meeting,shared his feelings with news anchor Chris Cuomo after the meeting between Trump and Kim got underway.
“It’s a great day. I am here to see it. I’m so happy,” Rodman said after breaking down talking about death threats he received in the United States due to his conversations with Kim, someone Rodman has considered a friend.
“I said to everybody, the door will open,” Rodman said, his voice cracking with emotion. “It’s amazing, it’s amazing, it’s amazing, when I said those things, when I went back home, I got so many death threats, and I believed in North Korea, and I couldn’t go home, I couldn’t even go home, I had to hide out for 30 days, but I kept my head high, and I knew things were going to change.
I knew it. I was the only one.”
“Today is a great day,” former NBA star Dennis Rodman says in an emotional interview in which he describes his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un https://t.co/atvQwe7jo0 pic.twitter.com/dEgQf3kBtE
— CNN (@CNN) June 12, 2018 The tone became lighter when Rodman, who was wearing black sunglasses, a red Make America Great Again hat and a black shirt advertising PotCoin.com — a digital currency for marijuana that sponsored Rodman’s trip — described Kim as a “big kid, even though he’s small” and someone who “loves to have a good time.”
“This guy wants to be around the world. He wants to come to America. He wants to enjoy his life. He wants his people to enjoy their life,” Rodman said.
Rodman, who Trump said last week had not been invited to the summit, has been public about several trips he’s made to North Korea to meet with Kim. They share a love of basketball.
But Rodman and his agent did say the five-time NBA champion was contacted, and thanked, by the White House.
WH Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called Dennis Rodman to thank him for his effort in Singapore and his support of President Trump, according to Rodman’s agent, Darren Prince.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 12, 2018 In 2017, his visit coincided with the release of American Otto Warmbier — a college student from Ohio who was arrested for theft and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Rodman suggested he played a role in the release. Warmbier died less than a week later.
Follow Moore on Twitter @Casey_Moore
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Dennis Rodman in North Korea Fullscreen Post to Facebook Posted! A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.
Dennis Rodman, left, towers over North Korean children during his visit to Mangyongdae, the birth place of late North Korean leader Kim Il Sung, on June 14, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Rodman’s current trip is his first since Donald Trump became president. He told reporters in Beijing, as he departed for Pyongyang, that he hopes his trip will “open a door” for Trump. Kim Kwang Hyon, AP Fullscreen Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman speaks to a guide at the Sci-Tech Complex on June 14, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Kim Kwang Hyon, AP Fullscreen Dennis Rodman is silhouetted against a model of the Unha 3, a space launch vehicle, displayed at the Sci-Tech Complex on June 14, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Kim Kwang Hyon, AP Fullscreen Dennis Rodman talks to North Korea’s Pothonggang women’s basketball team during his visit to Chongjong Street basketball gymnasium on June 14, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Kim Kwang Hyon, AP Fullscreen Dennis Rodman walks through the Koryo hotel lobby as he leaves to visit several sports venues on June 14, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Wong Maye-E, AP Fullscreen Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman, center, poses with his entourage upon arrival at Sunan International Airport on June 13, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Rodman arrived in North Korea on his first visit since President Trump took office. Kim Kwang Hyon, AP Fullscreen Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman, center, is greeted by North Korea’s Sports Ministry Vice Minister Son Kwang Ho, right, upon his arrival at Sunan International Airport on June 13, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Kim Kwang Hyon, AP Fullscreen Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman, center, arrives at Sunan International Airport on June 13, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Kim Kwang Hyon, AP Fullscreen Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman is greeted by North Korea’s Sports Ministry Vice Minister Son Kwang Ho, right, upon his arrival at Sunan International Airport on June 13, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Kim Kwang Hyon, AP Fullscreen Like this topic? You may also like these photo galleries: Replay 1 of 9 2 of 9 3 of 9 4 of 9 5 of 9 6 of 9 7 of 9 8 of 9 9 of 9 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide

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The Autumn of ObamaCare

476 COMMENTS Republicans are in a predictable spot as they head to the midterm election: The party failed to repeal ObamaCare, and the press is waving around double-digit premium increases for 2019. Democrats are pinning the blame on Republicans, though the basic problem is still the structure of the Affordable Care Act.
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer declared the other day that Democrats will be “relentless in making sure the American people exactly understand who is to blame for the rates.” Some insurers have been requesting large premium increases for next year as they have every year: 19% on average in Washington, 24% in New York. The Congressional Budget Office said in May that “benchmark” or midlevel plans on the exchanges would absorb a 15% increase.
State regulators approve increases and rates are set in the fall, so this pot will reach a boil as Republicans are campaigning for re-election. The GOP deserves some of the political heat after eight years of promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The excuses for failure—an “open process” or fear of touching Medicaid—are no more compelling now than they were a year ago.
Still, the sticker shock headlines conceal some compensating realities. The left claims the increases are novel and due to Republican “sabotage,” but ObamaCare has been on this road for a long time. Average premiums doubled between 2013 and 2017, according to Health and Human Services data.
Photo: iStock/Getty Images The law’s benefit mandates and issuer rules bar insurers from pricing based on actuarial risk. Many Americans have decided the quality of the product isn’t worth the price even with subsidies for those below 400% of the poverty line. As a result, the exchanges are attracting the aging or ill.
A 20% increase in premiums also doesn’t necessarily mean that Americans on the exchanges are paying 20% more. That’s in large part because of what is known as “silver loading.” The health law includes tax credits that are tied to the price of the second cheapest “silver” or mid-level plans. Insurers have thus dumped premium increases onto these plans, knowing that the government will pay the difference.
More than 8 in 10 ObamaCare enrollees were eligible for tax credits in the first half of 2017. The average subsidy was $373 a month, with as much as $965 a month in Alaska and $541 in Arizona. The premiums move north but the insurers mostly soak the beleaguered U.S. taxpayer. The people who suffer most from “silver-loading” and other insurer enrichment schemes are those who lack coverage but don’t qualify for subsidies.
The good news is that the GOP repealed the penalty for declining to buy insurance—the individual mandate—as part of tax reform. Democrats are now acting like the mandate was the last Jenga block and the whole ObamaCare tower will now topple. This hardly speaks well of the law’s design if it were true, but it isn’t.
The mandate was never a powerful tool for driving Americans to the exchanges, and more than six million people in 2015 elected to pay the fine instead of buy coverage. CBO has already downgraded its projections on how many Americans will roll off insurance due to the mandate’s repeal, and any effect on premiums is far more modest than advertised.
The same applies to Democratic claims about the Trump Administration’s plans to expand access to “short-term” insurance and association health plans. Groups like the Center for American Progress are churning out estimates about how mandate-repeal and short-term rules will drive up premiums—by exactly $1,011 in Florida, for instance.
But the regulations aren’t even finalized and the Administration hasn’t resolved important questions about incentives, like whether the short-term plans will have the option to be “guaranteed renewable” (yes, please). The short-term and association markets have been traditionally small, but properly structured they have the potential to expand coverage considerably.
Republicans will have to press the case that individual choice is better than the shared misery of the ObamaCare exchanges. The GOP has essentially decided to let as many people as possible flee the exchanges and subsidize those who remain. The Democrats want everyone to pay more to prop up their failing law.
Some on the right are working on another bill to repeal and replace the law this year, and we’d welcome nothing more. But the political odds are steep. The Senate would have to write a budget to be able to pass a bill with 51 votes under the “reconciliation” procedure. The worst outcome would be to roll out a bill to great fanfare, then fail and in the process play into Democratic hands.
At least Republicans are resisting demands to spend even more money to prop up ObamaCare this year and beyond. This could preclude reform through President Trump’s first term, and perhaps forever. The election-year challenge is to rebut false Democratic attacks and offer voters some reason to give the GOP another chance.

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Judge Rules AT&T Can Acquire Time Warner

220 COMMENTS WASHINGTON—A federal judge ruled Tuesday that AT&T Inc. T -6.20% can proceed with its blockbuster acquisition of Time Warner Inc., TWX 1.80% without any conditions, marking a historic defeat for the Justice Department that could rewrite the media landscape and set the stage for other deals.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon told a packed courtroom that the department hadn’t proved its case that the deal would suppress competition in the pay-TV industry.
At one point waving his 172-page opinion in the air, Judge Leon declared: “The court has now spoken and the defendants have won.”
The moment provided a final act of drama in a case that carried the highest stakes for the two companies, their leaders and the Trump administration’s antitrust enforcement. President Donald Trump was unusually direct in opposing the deal, both before and after taking office, giving the case an unusual political cast.
The decision, in one of the biggest antitrust cases in decades, is a milestone victory for AT&T as it looks to reposition itself in a rapidly evolving media landscape . Its deal for Time Warner, now valued at roughly $80 billion, has been pending since October 2016 .
Gate Opens Ruling Opens Door for Deals Analysis: Comcast Bid for Fox Will Set Merger Tone Hedge Funds Poised to Win in AT&T-Time Warner Deal AT&T Chief Gambled and Won Big Justice Department Needs to Regroup After Loss Five Takeaways From AT&T’s Win Judge Leon’s Decision Decoded Analysis: Judge Fires Starting Gun in Battle Against Tech No Phones, No Exits: Judge Wanted Folks to Hear His Verdict Reactions to AT&T’s Victory Read the full opinion The ruling could set off a round of media mergers. Other companies have been waiting to see how the AT&T case turned out , including Comcast Corp. CMCSA -0.19% , which has been planning a bid to buy the bulk of 21st Century Fox Inc.’s FOX 7.48% assets. The decision will give ammunition to Comcast as its argues to Fox and its shareholders that a tie-up between the companies could withstand a regulatory review. A Comcast offer would disrupt Walt Disney Co.’s $52.4 billion all-stock deal with 21st Century Fox, announced in December.
Underlining the magnitude of AT&T’s victory, Judge Leon took the unusual step of urging the government to let the companies close their deal without further legal interference.
Judge Leon said he hoped the Justice Department would have the “wisdom” not to seek an emergency stay of his ruling, saying such a legal maneuver would be “manifestly unjust” to AT&T and Time Warner.
The acquisition means that AT&T, already the nation’s top pay-TV distributor through its ownership of DirecTV, will now also control some of cable TV’s best-known channels, including HBO, CNN, TNT and TBS, as well as the Warner Bros. TV and film studio.
Judge Leon made headlines during the trial when he questioned whether a key Justice Department theory, backed by a well-respected economist, was a Rube Goldberg contraption.
Creation of a Giant AT&T spent decades snapping up rivals and neighbors. It’s now the largest U.S. pay-TV provider and second-largest wireless operator by subscribers. Time Warner has both added and shed assets but remains among the biggest players in film and TV. Decades of consolidation
AT&T Corp.
Born 1877 as the Bell Telephone Co.*
Lucent and NCR spun off
AT&T Wireless
Cingular
McCaw Cellular
AT&T
DirecTV
Leap
Wireless
BellSouth
Southwestern Bell
Name changed
to AT&T
Pacific Telesis
Ameritech
Market cap
$211B
$75
Time Inc./Time Magazine debuts in 1923
Time Inc. magazine
division spun off
Name changed to
Time Warner Inc.
AOL spun off
America Online
Time Warner
Becomes
AOL Time
Warner
TBS
Time Warner Cable
spun off
Warner Communications
created in 1969
Sells Warner
Music Group
’05
’00
’95
’15
1985
’10
Pre-1984
’90
Market capitalization, in billions
AT&T + Time Warner
Dish
Network
$15
Viacom
$12
$20
CBS
$69
$155
$202
$824
$158
$794
$149
$557
$75
$286
Comcast
Netflix
Charter
Disney
21st
Century Fox
Verizon
Google
Amazon
Facebook
*Bell Atlantic, NYNEX and U.S. West became Verizon
Decades of consolidation
AT&T Corp.
Born 1877 as the Bell Telephone Co.*
Lucent and NCR spun off
AT&T Wireless
Cingular
McCaw Cellular
AT&T
DirecTV
Leap
Wireless
BellSouth
Southwestern Bell
Name changed
to AT&T
Pacific Telesis
Ameritech
$211B
Market cap
Time Inc./Time Magazine debuts in 1923
Time Inc. magazine
division spun off
$75
Name changed to
Time Warner Inc.
AOL spun off
America Online
Time Warner
Becomes
AOL Time
Warner
TBS
Time Warner Cable
spun off
Warner Communications
created in 1969
Sells Warner
Music Group
’05
Pre-1984
1985
’15
’00
’95
’90
’10
Market capitalization, in billions
Dish
Network
$15
AT&T + Time Warner
Viacom
$12
$20
CBS
$286
$557
$794
$824
$202
$69
$75
$149
$155
$158
Charter
Comcast
Netflix
Disney
Verizon
21st
Century Fox
Facebook
Amazon
Google
*Bell Atlantic, NYNEX and U.S. West became Verizon
Decades of consolidation
AT&T Corp.
Born 1877 as the Bell Telephone Co.*
Lucent and NCR spun off
AT&T Wireless
Cingular
McCaw Cellular
AT&T
DirecTV
Leap
Wireless
BellSouth
Southwestern Bell
Name changed
to AT&T
Pacific Telesis
Ameritech
Market cap
$211B
Time Inc. magazine
division spun off
$75
Time Inc./Time Magazine debuts in 1923
Name changed to
Time Warner Inc.
AOL spun off
America Online
Time Warner
Becomes
AOL Time
Warner
Time Warner Cable
spun off
TBS
Warner Communications
created in 1969
Sells Warner
Music Group
’15
’10
’00
’05
’95
’90
Pre-1984
1985
Market capitalization, in billions
AT&T + Time Warner
Dish
Network
$15
Viacom
$12
$20
CBS
$824
$794
$75
$69
$149
$155
$557
$202
$286
$158
Netflix
Charter
Comcast
21st
Century Fox
Verizon
Disney
Google
Facebook
Amazon
*Bell Atlantic, NYNEX and U.S. West became Verizon
Market capitalization, in billions
Amazon
$824 billion
794
Google
Facebook
557
AT&T +
Time Warner
286
202
Verizon
Netflix
158
Disney
155
Comcast
149
21st Century
Fox
75
69
Charter
CBS
20
15
Dish Network
12
Viacom
Sources: staff and news reports; FactSet (market caps)
He went a step further Tuesday in his strongly worded opinion. “In fairness to Mr. Goldberg, at least his contraptions would normally move a pea from one side of a room to another,” Judge Leon wrote.
The decision hands the Justice Department’s antitrust division one of its most stinging losses ever.
“We are disappointed with the Court’s decision today,” Makan Delrahim, chief of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, said in a statement shortly after the ruling. “We continue to believe that the pay-TV market will be less competitive and less innovative as a result of the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner.”
The department will review the ruling, he said, and “consider next steps.”
Mr. Delrahim attended Tuesday’s hearing and sat stone-faced as he listened, occasionally taking notes as the judge spoke. Some of the 100 spectators in attendance had camped out overnight, or hired line-standers, to win a seat . The judge barred people from the leaving until he was done, and he commanded that there be no celebrations—or consolations—in his courtroom. Everyone abided by the orders.
From AT&T and Time Warner to the hot pursuit of 21st Century Fox and Sky, media mergers are in full swing. Why now? WSJ’s Amol Sharma answers all your questions about the forces driving media deals. Photo: Getty Images Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse, AT&T’s lead attorney, Daniel Petrocelli, described the decision as “a sound and proper rejection of all of the government’s arguments to stop this merger.”
“We are elated,” Time Warner spokesman Gary Ginsberg said outside the courtroom. “We look forward to completing the merger.”
The Justice Department’s concerns about the merger focused heavily on its belief that AT&T would have the incentive and ability to use Time Warner’s Turner networks as a weapon against DirecTV’s cable and satellite television rivals. The department argued that AT&T, which bought DirecTV in 2015, would be able to use the threat of a Turner blackout to force rivals to pay higher carriage fees for the networks, which would mean higher prices for consumers.
Judge Leon disagreed, saying AT&T’s rivals could compete even if they didn’t have Turner. He also rejected two other government arguments: that AT&T might restrict rivals’ use of Time Warner’s HBO, and that the postmerger company could impede upstart online rivals offering video content on the internet.
The case marked the first time in 40 years that a court had seen a fully litigated challenge to a so-called vertical merger that combines companies at different links in the same supply chain. Such cases are considered more difficult for the government to win than the typical “horizontal” merger case, where the government challenges the combination of two head-to-head rivals and the loss of competition is more apparent.
A Plan for Every Season AT&T already bills millions of Americans for landline, wireless and pay-TV service. The Time Warner acquisition lets AT&T keep a bigger chunk of what they pay for entertainment. Potential AT&T customer ranges, annual fees
Time Warner offerings
TW
$6,260
$2,952
$1,380
THE BARGAIN HUNTER
THE DREAM CUSTOMER
THE BUNDLER
COST
PRODUCT
COST
PRODUCT
COST
PRODUCT
$2,280
AT&T Unlimited
Plus Enhanced
AT&T Mobile
Share Flex 5GB
Cricket Wireless
2GB Plan
$360
$1,200
DirecTV Premier
+ HBO
$1,536
$2,172
AT&T Internet
DirecTV
+ Internet 100 Mbps
+ Home Phone
+ NFL Sunday Ticket
$396
$180
WatchTV*
+ NBA League Pass
$200
TW
+ HBO
$216
TW
$132
+ Filmstruck
subscription
TW
$1,080
$840
AT&T Internet
1000 Mbps
AT&T Internet
50 Mbps
TV and
internet
on one bill
Potential AT&T customer ranges, annual fees
Time Warner offerings
TW
THE BARGAIN HUNTER
PRODUCT
COST
Cricket Wireless
2GB Plan
$360
WatchTV*
$180
AT&T Internet
50 Mbps
$840
= $1,380/yr.
THE BUNDLER
PRODUCT
COST
AT&T Mobile
Share Flex 5GB
$1,200
AT&T Internet
DirecTV
+ Internet 100 Mbps
+ Home Phone
$1,536
+ HBO
$216
TW
= $2,952/yr.
THE DREAM CUSTOMER
PRODUCT
COST
AT&T Unlimited
Plus Enhanced
$2,280
DirecTV Premier
+ HBO
$2,172
$396
+ NFL Sunday Ticket
+ NBA League Pass
$200
TW
+ Filmstruck
subscription
$132
TW
AT&T Internet
1000 Mbps
$1,080
= $6,260/yr.
Potential AT&T customer ranges, annual fees
Time Warner offerings
TW
$6,260
$2,952
$1,380
THE BARGAIN HUNTER
THE DREAM CUSTOMER
THE BUNDLER
PRODUCT
COST
COST
PRODUCT
PRODUCT
COST
Cricket Wireless
2GB Plan
AT&T Mobile
Share Flex 5GB
AT&T Unlimited
Plus Enhanced
$1,200
$2,280
$360
$2,172
$1,536
AT&T Internet
DirecTV
+ Internet 100 Mbps
+ Home Phone
DirecTV Premier
+ HBO
+ NFL Sunday Ticket
$396
$180
WatchTV*
$200
+ NBA League Pass
TW
+ HBO
$216
TW
$132
+ Filmstruck
subscription
TW
$1,080
AT&T Internet
1000 Mbps
AT&T Internet
50 Mbps
$840
TV and
internet
on one bill
Time Warner offerings
TW
THE BARGAIN HUNTER
PRODUCT
COST
Cricket Wireless
2GB Plan
$360
WatchTV*
$180
AT&T Internet
50 Mbps
$840
= $1,380/yr.
THE BUNDLER
PRODUCT
COST
AT&T Mobile
Share Flex 5GB
$1,200
AT&T Internet
DirecTV
+ Internet 100 Mbps
+ Home Phone
$1,536
+ HBO
$216
TW
= $2,952/yr.
THE DREAM CUSTOMER
PRODUCT
COST
AT&T Unlimited
Plus Enhanced
$2,280
DirecTV Premier
+ HBO
$2,172
+ NFL Sunday Ticket
$396
+ NBA League Pass
$200
TW
+ Filmstruck
subscription
$132
TW
AT&T Internet
1000 Mbps
$1,080
= $6,260/yr.
*Product not yet launched Note: Prices exclude first year promotions and vary by location.
Source: the companies
Response to Judge Leon’s verdict was brisk in after-hours trading, with AT&T falling 2.8%; Time Warner rising 4.5%; Comcast dropping 3%; and Disney sliding 1.7%.
The decision is a career-defining victory for AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, who refused the government’s demands that AT&T divest a major piece of Time Warner to get clearance for the deal.
In less than three years, first with the purchase of DirecTV and now Time Warner, the AT&T veteran has transformed the phone carrier he inherited into one of the world’s biggest entertainment companies. But now he will need to deliver returns for shareholders despite slowing growth in the wireless market and the rise of cord-cutting and internet rivals.
For Time Warner’s boss, Jeff Bewkes, the deal’s approval vindicates his strategy of dismantling the Time Warner empire, spinning off assets such as AOL, Time Inc. and Time Warner Cable in order to create the most attractive target for a potential buyer.
AT&T said it plans to close the deal in coming days. Mr. Stephenson, who has run AT&T since 2007, plans to make few sudden changes to Time Warner’s management, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Bewkes is expected to leave the company after a transition period.
The DOJ’s loss Tuesday breaks a banner streak of success for the department in blocking mergers that antitrust officials believed were anticompetitive. In recent years the department felled two major health insurance mergers , Anthem Inc.-Cigna Corp. and Aetna Inc.-Humana Inc., the oil-field-services merger of Halliburton Co. and Baker Hughes Inc. and another pay TV deal: Comcast’s plan to buy Time Warner Cable , a company that is separate from Time Warner and has since been acquired by Charter Communications Inc.
Write to Brent Kendall at brent.kendall@wsj.com and Drew FitzGerald at andrew.fitzgerald@wsj.com

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Congress breaks its silence: Pranab Mukherjee on Rahul Gandhi’s iftar list | India News

Congress breaks its silence: Pranab Mukherjee on Rahul Gandhi’s iftar list Congress breaks its silence: Pranab Mukherjee on Rahul Gandhi’s iftar list Congress president Rahul Gandhi is set to hold an iftar on Wednesday, one that is likely to become a gathering of “like-minded” opposition parties and leaders. Former President Pranab Mukherjee is being invited to the event. The news of the invite to Mukherjee came after speculation on television channels that Congress had decided to leave him out of the guest list. TNN | Updated: Jun 12, 2018, 01:44 IST Highlights Congress president Rahul Gandhi is set to hold an iftar on Wednesday Former President Pranab Mukherjee is being invited to the event The news of the invite to Mukherjee came after speculation that Cong had decided to leave him out of the guest list File photo of Pranab Mukherjee NEW DELHI: Congress president Rahul Gandhi is set to hold an iftar on Wednesday, one that is likely to become a gathering of “like-minded” opposition parties and leaders. Former President Pranab Mukherjee is being invited to the event. The news of the invite to Mukherjee came after speculation on television channels that Congress had decided to leave him out of the guest list. The buzz came in the light of Mukherjee’s recent visit to the RSS headquarters which triggered unease in Congress. ‘Pranab office has said he’ll attend iftar’ Party sources initially did not deny Mukherjee wasn’t invited, with some leaders speculating he had probably been left out since he’s a former President. “That is the reason why an invite was not extended even to former vice-president Hamid Ansari,” one of them had said. Others had counselled caution. “Please wait. It has been only a day since the iftar was finalised. We will make every invitation public.” Later, however, sources said Mukherjee was indeed being invited and that his office had confirmed he would be joining the event at Taj Palace hotel on Wednesday. Speculation had gained salience on TV channels with BJP jumping into the fray to attack Congress. AICC spokesman Randeep Surjewala said, “Multiple media houses have raised questions on iftar invite to @CitiznMukherjee on behalf of Congress president. Congress president has extended an invite to Pranab Mukherjee and he has graciously accepted. Hope this will set to rest unwarranted speculation.” A senior functionary said the decision on inviting “a former President” was left for “a personal invite from the Congress chief ” which took time. Get latest news & live updates on the go on your pc with News App . Download The Times of India news app for your device. Read more India news in English and other languages. You might also like

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