In Gettysburg speech, Trump vows to break up mega media mergers

At a campaign event Saturday in Gettysburg, Pa., Republican nominee Donald Trump said he would nullify the buyout of Time Warner Inc. by AT&T Inc. as president, railing against the consolidation because “it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.”

The deal was announced Saturday night, with the telecommunications giant agreeing to pay $107.50 per share of the former cable company, totaling just over $85 billion. Time Warner is the parent company of CNN, TNT, TBS, HBO and Warner Bros. studio.

The subject of this specific merger plays into Trump’s focus on the supposed “rigged system”, a topic he has been heavily focusing on in the last few weeks. Trump has promised to weaken the media by preventing deals such as this, and breaking up companies that have already merged.

One example he brought up in his speech was the purchase of NBCUniversal by Comcast Corp.

“Deals like this destroy democracy,” Trump said. “We’ll look at breaking that deal up, and other deals like that. This should never, ever have been approved in the first place.”

Large mergers such as these have to be approved by antitrust regulators at both the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice. The regulators can decide to approve deals after putting certain stipulations in place.

Trump’s attack on business conglomerates is a departure from standard GOP policy. Republicans are known for their pro-business stance, and Trump’s diatribe is just another example of his break with traditional Republicans.

Following his populist message, the business mogul and television star then went on to promise lawsuits against the many women who have accused him of sexual assault. He blames a biased media for covering the stories.

“They’re trying desperately to suppress my vote and the voice of the American people,” he told supporters.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was also in Pennsylvania for a campaign event, addressing Trump’s comments as she spoke to a crowd in Pittsburgh.

“I saw where our opponent Donald Trump went to Gettysburg, one of the most extraordinary places in in American history, and basically said if he’s president he will spend his time suing women who have made charges against him based on his behavior,” Clinton said. “Tim and I are going to keep talking about what we want do if we’re given the great honor of serving as president and vice president.”

Both candidates have campaigned heavily in Pennsylvania, one of the few consistently critical swing states in recent presidential elections.

 

[CNN Money] [Business Insider] [ABC News] [Image courtesy Evan Vucci/Associated Press via Chicago Tribune]