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AT&T wins court approval to buy Time Warner, paving path to more mergers

AT&T Inc. won approval from a U.S. court on Tuesday to buy Time Warner Inc. in one of the largest antitrust cases in decades.

The high-stakes case, which was decided by Richard Leon, a judge appointed by President George W. Bush, has been closely watched by the telecommunications, media, and tech industries for its potential effect on the future of other blockbuster deals.

“This opens the floodgates for consolidation among the largest entertainment and transmission companies,” said Gene Kimmelman, former chief counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust division.

The Justice Department filed suit to block the $85.4 billion acquisition deal last November, claiming such a deal would hurt consumers and competition.

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