AT&T exec says ‘uncertain’ when Time Warner deal will close

NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T now says it’s “uncertain” when its $85 billion Time Warner purchase will close.

AT&T had maintained that the deal would be done by the end of the year. AT&T Inc. CFO John Stephens said Wednesday that discussions with the Justice Department, which must approve the deal, are “active.”

Wall Street analysts had widely expected the deal to go through. Obama-era regulators approved a similar deal, Comcast’s purchase of NBCUniversal in 2011, with a slew of requirements for Comcast’s business practices attached. Perhaps complicating matters now is that the new antitrust head at the Justice Department, Makan Delrahim, has said he prefers conditions like selling off assets to monitoring a company’s behavior after a merger.

Time Warner shares dropped 3.2 percent Wednesday morning. AT&T stock fell less than 1 percent.