Jennifer Fritzsche, managing director for telecom services at Wells Fargo Securities, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Monday that the message AT&T would push with regulators was that the merger was "vertical."
"Vertical integration" means that the
AT&T has said the deal will need the approval of the U.S. Department of Justice, and that the companies were determining which of Time Warner's U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licenses would be transferred to AT&T as part of the deal, Reuters reported. Such transfers would require FCC approval.
"They are not taking out a competitor, that's the message they are going to be taking to the Department of Justice," Fritzsche said.
She added if AT&T argued that the deal would help meet consumer demand for mobile video in a price-efficient way, it had " a very good case."
AT&T is one of the largest telecom groups in the United States, with a wireless network that covers 315 million people. Time Warner has a vast empire of media and entertainment properties, including the "Harry Potter" series, the next generation of superhero films being developed by DC Comics, and the news broadcaster CNN.
The two companies jointly announced on Saturday an agreement that will see AT&T pay $107.50 per share in a cash-and-stock transaction to acquire Time Warner. The boards of both companies have unanimously approved the more than $85 billion deal.
According to Reuters, the DOJ would need to prove that a deal hurt competition in order to block it, but that the FCC had broader powers to block any deal it found was not in the "public interest", or to attach conditions to the deal.