As U.S. lawmakers and industry groups scrutinize the AT&T and Time Warner $85.4 billion merger, CNBC's Jim Cramer warned the two companies on Monday about what he calls a government atmosphere against "big companies."
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson told CNBC Monday that the deal wouldn't cause reduced competition, but rather would result in "vertical integration."
Cramer said he understands the CEO's comments, but warned that pitch may not work on the current U.S. Justice Department.
"That's what a lot of the lawyers have done in these deals. But the traditional metrics have not been in play depending upon a bit more populist Justice Department," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street."
"The deals that have been stopped, most of them should have been approved," He said. "...There used to be a Justice Department. It was independent, and it made rules."
Cramer added that the Justice Department does not really like big companies. He compared the acquisition deal to the one by Comcast of NBCUniversal, which was subject to intense scrutiny. He said that was a deal that worked.
"I think it was an asset that wasn't well run and they've made it well run," He said. "...If I were AT&T I would say, 'Hey, the worse that happens is maybe we become like Comcast."
—Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com. Furthermore, Jim Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Comcast.