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AT&T Exec Suggests Time Warner Deal May Not Close by Year’s End After All

“The timing of the closing of the deal is now uncertain,” John Stephens says at investor conference

Slow your roll, AT&T-Time Warner: Your $85 billion merger may not close by the end of 2017 after all.

“All approvals have been received, but for the [Department of Justice],” AT&T CFO John Stephens said Wednesday morning of his company’s pending acquisition. “We are in active discussions with the DOJ. Those are continuing on. I can’t comment on those discussions, but with those discussions, I can now say that the timing of the closing of the deal is now uncertain.”

“With regard to the transaction, everything continues as we’ve expressed in the past,” he continued during a Wednesday investor conference in New York. “If you look at this vertical merger, you can see that these types of mergers bring benefits to customers, and have very routinely been approved by the DOJ and the federal government. In fact, a vertical integration — vertical merger like this hasn’t been blocked for over 40 years.”

Stephens concluded his remarks by saying, “So we’re really positive about the deal. We believe that the strength of the deal continues and we just look forward to moving to the process.”

Time Warner is the home to HBO, CNN, Turner and the Warner Bros. studio. President Donald Trump, who is clearly no fan of CNN, has threatened to block the $85 billion deal.

AT&T’s stock price took a bath last month after the company revealed its latest cord-cutting losses at subsidiary DirecTV. Losses continued this month as the Department of Justice considered an antitrust lawsuit to block the Time Warner purchase.