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AT&T wins U.S. court approval to buy Time Warner for $85 billion

The planned deal is seen as a turning point for a media industry that has been upended by companies like Netflix and Google which produce content and sell it online directly to consumers, without requiring a pricey cable subscription. Distributors including cable, satellite and wireless carriers all see buying content companies as a way to add revenue.

The ruling could also prompt a cascade of pay TV companies buying television and movie makers, with Comcast’s bid for some Twenty-First Century Fox assets potentially the first out of the gate.

The merger, including debt, would be the fourth largest deal ever attempted in the global telecom, media and entertainment space, according to Thomson Reuters data. It would also be the 12th largest deal in any sector, the data showed.

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