By Drew FitzGerald
AT&T Inc.'s chief executive said Thursday he is prepared to go to court to defend the telecom giant's proposed takeover of Time Warner Inc. if settlement discussions with antitrust regulators fail.
"We are prepared to litigate now" if the companies can't reach a negotiated settlement with the Justice Department, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said at an industry conference Thursday.
Mr. Stephenson said the company would continue to pursue a settlement but was prepared to litigate if it determined that the conditions of such a deal were worse than the outcome of a courtroom fight.
If it did end up in court, he said he was confident in the company's legal position and that the litigation could be concluded by April 22, a deadline the merger partners put on the transaction.
Mr. Stephenson said he doesn't plan on selling CNN and that no one in the Justice Department had made that a condition of approving the deal.
"I have never been told that the price of getting deal done was selling CNN," Mr. Stephenson said. "I have never offered to sell and have no intentions to sell CNN."
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