Judge: Gov't evidence "too thin" in AT&T case


WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said the government failed to meet its burden of proof in its antitrust suit against the AT&T-Time Warner merger.

Judge Leon said the government had "taken its best shot" to oppose the merger. But, he added, "the government's evidence is too thin a reed for this court to rely on."

The judge made his remarks to a packed courtroom in an unusual session weeks after the trial ended.

Judge Leon also said it would be harmful for him to put a temporary stay on the merger while the government appeals his decision, if it does so.

The "drop-dead" deadline for the merger to be completed is June 21. If not completed by then, either company could walk away, and AT&T would have to pay a $500 million breakup fee.

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