AT&T CEO Stephenson says deal needed in content-dependent world [telecom]

by Diane Bartz, David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said on Thursday his company's bid to buy movie and TV show maker Time Warner would allow the two firms to serve customers better by lowering pay TV rates, rejecting government arguments the deal would raise consumer prices.

Speaking in U.S. District Court in Washington, Stephenson addressed himself to Judge Richard Leon who will decide if the $85 billion deal may go forward. He said that he wanted to combine what AT&T knew about its customers with Time Warner's ability to create compelling content.

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