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Randall L. Stephenson

A merged AT&T-Time Warner may not do consumers much good

AT&T and Time Warner are playing up how their $85.4 billion merger will lead to innovative new experiences for customers. But analysts, public-interest groups and some politicians are far from convinced.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said it should be killed. Tim Kaine, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, said less concentration in media "is generally helpful." And the Republican chairman and Democratic ranking member of the Senate's antitrust subcommittee said that the deal would "potentially raise significant antitrust issues."

The potential harm to consumers from this deal could be subtle — far more so than if AT&T...