AT&T-Time Warner Deal Could Rack Markets

“It is already the case that district court opinions in merger cases tend to be important precedents, simply because there are so few litigated merger cases,” said Christopher Sagers, an antitrust expert and professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in an email to Yahoo! Finance. “And this of course is a very special case. It’s very, very big, and it’s (I’m pretty sure) the only vertical merger case litigated to the merits in about 50 years.”

Related: AT&T Woos Time Warner, Putting Spotlight on Media ETF

Media ETFs Already Reacting

Judge Leon’s decision will weigh heavily on the markets, particular media-focused ETFs like Invesco Dynamic Media ETF (NYSEArca: PBS), which is currently up 0.66% as of 3:00 pm Eastern Time. Another ETF marked for impact is the iShares Evolved U.S. Media and Entertainment ETF (NYSEArca: IEME), which is currently up 0.21%.

“Everything’s on the line now for the Department of Justice,” said Gene Kimmelman, a former DOJ antitrust official who now heads up the consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge. “They either come out as enormous victors … or they’ll face an avalanche of new transactions if they lose this case.”

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