Rupert Murdoch says ‘flip the switch’ in bid to convince Trump to stop AT&T merger

Rupert Murdoch has a message for President Trump: “Flip the switch and do something.” The executive chairman of 21st Century Fox has clashed with the administration over issues from libel to net neutrality. He has a good deal at stake in the Trump-influenced U.S. Senate vote, which threatens to vote down the Commerce Department’s $10.6 billion merger between the company and its entertainment rival, AT&T. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) might hold the vote after the expiration of procedural requirements before the deal could be approved. Trump and his administration have said they like AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner. Murdoch sent a message to the president in response to Trump’s tweets that the company is “and has been all along” happy with the status quo and would be better served by an internal merger that would leave it “largely intact.”

Rupert Murdoch’s latest tweets seem designed to show White House that all is fine at 21st Century Fox. — Alexandra Petri (@petridishes) May 19, 2018

Murdoch also gave the message his all in another tweet, which seems directed toward a lost deal of his own:

Takedown 2 should return more quickly than Takedown 1. Been too many years, too many blunders, too many unnecessary delays. — Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) May 19, 2018

Murdoch has made clear that he’s unhappy with the merger. Back in 2016, after the deal’s announcement, he explained his frustration in a memo that compared AT&T and Time Warner to “losing out on a big lottery ticket and feeling devastated as you collect the jackpot only to discover you’ve been duped.”

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