The company reiterated that vertical mergers of this type are routinely approved. After hours, AT&T shares traded slightly higher, Time Warner stock moderately lower. Rather, it bears the burden of proving to the U.S. District Court that the transaction violates the law.
AT&T and Time Warner are not direct competitors, but the lawsuit alleges that the $108 billion acquisition would substantially lessen competition - allowing AT&T to have distribution control over Time Warner's popular television programming.
This follows a period filled with reports that the DOJ demanded AT&T and Time Warner sell Turner Broadcasting, which includes CNN. "We are confident that the Court will reject the government's claims and permit this merger under longstanding legal precedent".
Prospects for the merger, proposed by AT&T in October 2016, have been blurred since the ascendance of then-candidate Donald Trump, who during the presidential campaign said the deal would concentrate too much power in the company.
Consumer advocates have also been advocating against the approval of the merger, warning about the harms of continued consolidation in the telecom and media industries. Bloomberg's source said that the announcement will be about the Justice Department working to block the AT&T/Time Warner deal.