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With consent from Brazil, AT&T has only one regulatory hurdle left before it can gobble Time Warner

With consent from Brazil, AT&T has only one regulatory hurdle left before it can gobble Time Warner
AT&T offices are seen in El Segundo. (Christina House / For The Times)

Telecommunications giant AT&T has secured the blessing of Brazilian regulators for its $85-billion takeover of Time Warner Inc., moving the blockbuster deal closer to the finish line.

The Dallas phone company on Wednesday said Brazil's antitrust authority, the Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica, had signed off on AT&T's application to consolidate the New York-based media company, which owns CNN, HBO, TBS, Cartoon Network and Hollywood's biggest film and television studio, Warner Bros.

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Now, AT&T must win approval from the U.S. Department of Justice before it can finalize the merger. The government's review slowed over the summer because the Senate's approval of President Trump's appointment of Makan Delrahim as chief of the Justice Department's anti-trust division was made in late September. The Justice Department and AT&T continue to negotiate conditions for the merger, according to knowledgeable people who do not want to be identified discussing the sensitive process.

AT&T earlier had received approval from regulators in Chile and Mexico. Brazilian regulators concluded that AT&T would not be required to divest any assets, the company said.

"We appreciate the hard work by CADE to review and evaluate the AT&T-Time Warner merger and approve it based on its benefits to Brazilian consumers," David McAtee, AT&T's general counsel, said in a statement.

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