Breakfast Briefing: AT&T-Time Warner merger goes to court

The five stories PR pros need to know to start their week.

Photo by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel, via Flickr
Photo by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel, via Flickr

AT&T’s merger with Time Warner goes to trial today. AT&T is fighting for the approval of the $85 billion deal. The merger is complicated by President Trump, who said last year that it would not be approved by his administration, referencing his feud with Time Warner-owned CNN.

Facebook is under scrutiny again for its handling of personal data. Washington officials are asking CEO Mark Zuckerberg to explain how personal user data ended up with a data firm working on President Trump’s 2016 campaign. Lawmakers are looking again at the debate over how Facebook, and other social media platforms, handle personal information. Facebook responded by suspending the firm.

YouTube Kids comes under fire for conspiracy videos. A Business Insider investigation found that conspiracy videos, including ones about the moon landing and reptile-human hybrids, were being surfaced in the YouTube Kids app. YouTube is already trying to address conspiracy videos on the main app and website by adding context from Wikipedia pages.

Trump lashed out at Russia probe, special counsel Robert Mueller in Sunday tweets. After firing another top FBI official, Andrew McCabe, Trump vented about the Russia probe online. He said memos kept by McCabe were fake and accused Mueller’s team of being biased. Republican leaders took a hard line against the possibility of firing Mueller, saying it would be "the beginning of the end of his presidency."

Meredith Corp. is expected to lay off Time Inc. employees. The publisher could lay off up to 300 as early as this week and it would mostly affect Time Inc. corporate employees. Meredith took over control of Time in February and is looking to save $400 to $500 million in the next two years by selling of magazine titles and layoffs.

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