November 16, 2017 / 4:39 PM / a year ago

AT&T hires ex-Trump lawyer to defend possible Time Warner deal lawsuit

WASHINGTON, Nov 16 (Reuters) - AT&T said on Thursday it had hired prominent media lawyer Daniel Petrocelli to serve as lead trial counsel if the U.S. Justice Department files a lawsuit to block the No. 2 U.S. wireless company's acquisition of media and entertainment company Time Warner.

Petrocelli, a partner at O'Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles, has represented Walt Disney and Time Warner in the past. Last year, he defended then-presidential candidate Donald Trump against fraud lawsuits related to real estate seminars known as Trump University.

The Justice Department is expected to file an antitrust lawsuit as soon as this week to block the $85.4 billion AT&T deal.

The department has approached 18 state attorneys general to try to win their support for a lawsuit, a person briefed on the matter said on Wednesday. (Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Paul Simao)

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