Trump says AT&T purchase of media giant Time Warner will “destroy democracy”

Trump says AT&T purchase of media giant Time Warner will “destroy democracy”

Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:45AM

US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has vowed to block a proposed media mega-deal for AT&T to purchase Time Warner if he wins the presidency, insisting that such deals “destroy democracy.”

“As an example of the power structure I’m fighting, AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few,” said Trump during a campaign speech on Saturday in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, outlining his policy plans for the first 100 days of his presidency.

US Telecommunications giant AT&T, Inc. has agreed in principle to purchase media conglomerate Time Warner Inc., which is one of the country’s largest film and television companies, for more than $80 billion, major US media outlets reported Saturday, adding that a formal announcement of the deal could come later in the day.

Trump further emphasized that he would also look at “breaking” up the acquisition by another telecommunication giant, Comcast Corp., of the media company NBC Universal in 2013.

“Deals like this destroy democracy,” he said in explaining his obvious deviation from the traditional Republican position that seeks to minimize the taxation and regulation of large US corporations.

Arguing that such deals were examples of a media power structure rigged against him as well as American voters, Trump said, “When a simple phone call placed with the biggest newspapers or television networks gets them wall-to-wall coverage with virtually no fact-checking whatsoever, here is why this is relevant to you.”

“If they can fight somebody like me who has unlimited resources to fight back, just look at what they could do to you, your jobs, your security, your education, your healthcare,” he underlined.

In further castigation of US media corporations, which he blames for unfair coverage of his presidential campaign, Trump said, “They’re trying desperately to suppress my vote and the voice of the American people.”

The Republican presidential nominee also blasted major online retailer Inc, saying that it should be paying “massive taxes,” reminding voters that Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos also owns influential liberal daily The Washington Post, which is known to be closely tied to the Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton mocked Trump’s speech, insisting that his only new policy was to promise to sue his female accusers.

“Like Trump’s campaign, this speech gave us a troubling view as to what a Trump State of the Union would sound like,” spokeswoman Christina Reynolds said in a statement. She called the speech “rambling, unfocused, full of conspiracy theories and attacks on the media, and lacking in any real answers for American families.”

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