Cox Communications content acquisition executive Suzanne Fenwick will be the first witness the Justice Department calls upon when the trial gets underway to determine if AT&T can purchase Time Warner Inc., the New York Post reported.
The DOJ is seeking to block AT&T’s proposed purchase of Time Warner Inc. in a trial set to start Thursday in Washington, D.C., a powerful winter storm permitting.
Cox spokesman told the Post that the privately held Atlanta-based cable operator has consistently made it clear that the company has concerns about AT&T’s access to exclusive content, should it be able to consummate its deal.
Fenwick, the Cox rep told the paper, "is prepared to testify.”
The DOJ is trying to make the case that AT&T’s purchase of the content conglomerate will unbalance competition in the pay TV ecosystem.
Two weeks ago, the DOJ filed a trial brief arguing that If AT&T is allowed to buy Time Warner Inc., it will raise the total annual U.S. pay TV bill by $436 million.
"If TV program distributor AT&T acquires TV program producer Time Warner, American consumers will end up paying hundreds of millions of dollars more than they do now to watch their favorite programs on TV," the DOJ brief said. "In short, the transaction violates Section 7 of the Clayton Act, because its effect 'may be substantially to lessen competition.' Prices for current services will go up and development of emerging competition will slow down.”