Shares of AT&T (T) were just higher pre-market Thursday after media reports said nine state attorney generals have filed an amicus brief on Wednesday asking the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to affirm a lower court’s decision to allow the company’s acquisition of Time Warner.
The Justice Department is appealing US District Judge Richard Leon’s ruling in June that allows the acquisition to move forward. It contended that the transaction was illegal under antitrust law and would result in higher prices for consumers.
The nine attorneys general from Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin said that not only do they oppose the Justice Department’s appeal, but not a single state has filed a brief to support the department’s unsuccessful antitrust suit to block the deal.
The department’s move is “is rare for the federal government to pursue an antitrust case involving major, national companies without any state joining the effort,” the state attorney generals said in a court filing.