BUSINESS- A US district judge on Monday cleared the merger of telecoms giant AT&T with media firm Time Warner without any conditions.
US government regulators had filed legal action against the deal, arguing that it would hurt consumer sentiments as reduction in competition will lead to higher prices.
"We're disappointed that it took 18 months to get here, but we are relieved that it's finally behind us," Attorney Daniel Petrocelli, who represented AT&T, said after the decision.
The US Justice Department is disappointed by the decision. "We will closely review the Court's opinion and consider next steps in light of our commitment to preserving competition for the benefit of American consumers,” Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim said.
The $85bn will unite AT&T's wireless, satellite television and internet business with Time Warner's media properties, which include HBO and CNN.
The verdict will also bolster other firms looking for merger to go ahead with their plans.