tv Fast Money CNBC November 20, 2017 5:00pm-6:00pm EST
>> to me it underescrows the fact that ought distribution needs the nfl. >> even with declining ratings >> yes it has more than any other linear product. >> and maybe the giants will be great again. >> we have to wait a well. time for "fast money" to the follow the big story of the day. it starts right now. "fast money" starts right now with breaking new on the time warner and at&t deal. leslie picker has the details. >> the doj officially filing a lawsuit this evening seeking to block at&t's acquisition of time warner, challenge toss vertical mergers, which includes purchases along the supply chain are rare the government has never won a case against -- >> the justice department plans to argue it would harm competition and thwart innovation they seem confident about being
ability to prove their case. the attorney general for the antitrust division last week gave a speech outlining his slews. in it he said he said the behavioral remedies were largely ineffective measures that said, so as far as not a single state attorney general has decided to join this case, and at&t said said in a statement, quote, it's a rad canned a inexplicable depar. vertical mergers like this one are routinely approve, because they benefit consumers without removing any competitor from the market we see no legitimate reason for our merger to be treated differently. now at&t and time warner will be holding their own press conference in about po minutes, melissa. >> do we have any color as to the actual basis of the lawsuit? >> what they say is it's all about the consumer this deal in particular would harm the consumer, would raise prices on the consumer, limit the amount of content they have access to as a result of this
deal they are using the same principles that are oftentimes used in terms of horizontal mergers where they look at the consumer and what it means for pricing and applying it to this deal in particular they look at the size of it, saying it's a $108 billion deal, one that spans a large part of the market leslie, thank you. let's trade this here on the desk what leslie is saying implies that perhaps the department of justice believes there could be prefer edgeal treatment, this would include hbo. >> let me tell you if you're an at&t wireless customer you are you're getting better pricing, you're getting offers -- i'm already getting offers on hbo for free if you're an at&t wireless unlimited customer. you think they would be raising prices they're going for the bundle, and going up and down vertically to me it's a preposterous argument >> especially in a day and age
when it seems like ra rising to the bottom for pricing in content, given consumers a lot of choice. >> karen says this all the time. the consumer is the winner in all of these seem -- seemingly in all of these deals. i'm not a lawyer by any stretch, and i don't understand this as well as dan probably does, but i'll say this. is this a political thing? that's what it comes down to, because then i think it has far greater effects, far more ramifications on the broader market time warner has now effectively round-tripped the level i think it was october of '16 when this deal was originally announced, stock wall street 85, 86, 87, now i think it's getting interesting to buy time warner on its own merits right now. our own david faber has been reporting on this. david, what is the latest? >> listen, it's still a shock to some people despite the fact
they've been preparing for it for a couple weeks given what we've heard your guy say, and what i think is a general lack of understanding of the grounding of the doj case. that said officials are confidence in the facts and the law. they say that they will prevail in court despite the presence of no attorneys general joining them in this lawsuit, which is typically, though sometimes there are cases where that's not the case halliburton and baker-hughes among them, but there's a lot fewer states that would have fast-breaked this one. but they continue to make the basic arguments that directv's nationwide footprint would pose a competitive threat to others i guess it goes to this idea somehow that turner content is must-have. now, that's not clear to me. maybe hbo content, must have, and somehow at&t's incentive
would be to prevent people from seeing it, which again is kind of a strange argument tore making, but that seems to be one of the central arguments that the government is going to make. in a way it's must have, and some way they will discriminate against for content they that -- and by the way are contractually under deals to distribute. >> so this deal has been blowing apart for maybe two weeks or so. do you have any sense of any back-door discussions or goekz or any attempt at trying to settle here? >> i think this was an unwillingness on the part of at&t or to do anything with cronn. but there was potential some
attempt to do something structurally that might have been involved perhaps regional sports network, unclear whether that was truly the case. the -- as you well know, we have reported it was december when they thought think a deal that was daze away for behavioral remedies it might have been tougher for comcast, but nonetheless going to be agreed to, and it fell apart, and here we are with a lawsuit being filed today. >> you know, david, this lawsuit comes at an interesting time in terms of talks of consolidation. just last week you had an interview on the chilling effects that this may have let's play that again. >> how many subsubscriptions are consumers going to sign up for
for a direct exhumer offering. throw that in with a challenge, the government be interinto the time warner/at&t merger discussions has thrown a wrench in anyone's plans. i don't know how you could announce and have any confident. >> reporting on a lot of deal talks in recent days, are all those talks on hold? >> the rules of the road have changed, so i think everybody will pay close attention, generally speak about vertical generation, which frankly most people believed there was not a typical antitrust responsible. is it give to give people pause? without a doubt. let's just deal with something here and now our parent company in talks to at least sees if it could work a deal to acquire the
entertainment assets of forks. well, it's hard to imagine, giving this acby the doj that fox would ever pud itself in a position to at the sign a deal in any few weeks without having any idea whether that would have a chance of passing any muster >> it will be hard to imagine comcast engaging in any major deal at this point does this -- if disney were still interested in the fox assets, as you've reported, even the talks have ended could that play into disney's hands that would be a horizontal americaner, in theory. >> yeah, the disney has a much easy go of it, it would it comes to, um, the purchase of those content assets, because the distribution assets in question are all international. that said comcast has great
interest in the distribution assets as well, which certainly would not be part of this conversation, given that they're outside the country, but disney is a potential better position, main be in a better position overall, melissa, and they are still talking. this is still kind of going on, as i reported on friday, low intensity to some extent, but we'll see where it ends up in terms of fox, but no doubt this decision does have an impact if you're comcast or fox,. >> all right david i. thanks for phoning in, pete najarian, what do you make of this? >> in terms of the disney deal, he talked about the limited assets and talked about it mostly being international, so that looks like a smoother transition we have seen this pop out of the disney, somewhere in that range. the one thing i can tell you about the option market, what we are seeing and reading, dan can
back me up, time warner, they do not expect this deal to go through. the options market was all over this early it doesn't seem like people right now expect the deal to go through, and they are actually looking for maybe at&t to rally off of that, because at&t took a by -- >> if they sue, and time warner sues and wins, does that open the floodgates for all deals like that? is the precedent set that it's not antitruth? have at it >> off to the races, comcast, go buy content. >> on friday after viacom's lows, you saw the reversal there. so if you get into a situation, the bottom may be in to your point, they ran the deck of those media brands and all of that the one thing i don't get is the
nothing you would before have some of these short zone deal. the vertical deal will get done and then come back for the wireless -- >> let's just entertain that thought. what is the ramifications. >> that's not what departments of justice do? they allow these deals, so we're living in a time of ridiculousness, and this is just one more thing. >> we sort of question what he's saying, but willen to what the president said back in october of 2016. >> at&t is buying time warner and thus cnn, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few >> there you have it he couldn't be any more explicit are we surprised that there is a lawsuit that at&t is facing
right now? >> i am sort of surprised. when you're -- that was in october. >> october of 2016, yes. >> he said a lot of things during the campaign, the president, that he's sort of softened on. am i surprised yeah, i'm a bit surprised. i thought he would have softened his stance. >> he also said we're going to ban muslims, and it wasn't upheld by lots of cots so he's said a lot of nasty things based on his political biases that haven't come to fruition. for more, let's bring in craig moffett. always great to have you with us. >> great to be back. >> what do you think happens >> first, let's depoliticize it for a second perhaps the president approached the doj, but let's assume that's not likely the case and this is really about a legitimate argument for a vertical foreclosure. here's the problem and the reason in theory it could raise
prices that is that 70% of the world -- or of the country consumes time warner content through some platform other than at&t, now that at&t becomes a supplier to its direct competitors, it has an incentive to raise the price. >> so, in other words, i'm a verizon fios customer, i stream hbo and hbo go at&t now owns hbo in the future, so therefore i might have to pay higher priced? >> and by the way, comcast is goingto be acquiring content now from its direct competitor at&t that it's also direct competitor in at&t, so at&t has an incentive to raise the price to comcast, to dish network, it has an incentive to raise the price to everyone else other than itself, to charter. there's a legitimate argument -- now, this used to be dealt with
through the law there used to be a law called the set of program rules, through the 1996 telecom act that were actually specifically designed to protect, oddly enough, directv, now a part of at&t from john malone and what was then tci and what later became liberty. they were there to ensure there was no anticompetitive behavior. those rules sunset in 2009, and what the doj is struggling with now is without laws that protect these kinds of vertical foreclosure issues, what do you do in the comcast case, in effect they want let's leave the program access rules in place as if they still existed, but in this case, the doj has said we don't like those behavioral remedies, it puts us effectively makes us have to be regulators
we don't want to be regulators, but we need another solution, so the proposal is either divest further or we block this deal. look, i can't tell you whether they will win or lose in court i don't think anybody can, but i don't think it's fair to say this is either political or there are no vertical issues, because there are. >> so as a telecom analyst, that's a very feasible thing that could happen even in the midst of rock-bottom prices for consumers for content in general? >> well, yes and no. >> okay. >> the type of content we are talking about here has been growing at above the rate of inflation for the past 30 consecutive years. for all the tame about how prices are crashing, the content costs are rising still much faster what's happened is the distribution margin has started
to collapse in some of these o.t.t. services, but the -- >> you're saying to manufacture the content or for the consumers? >> the wholesale price of the content to the distributors is still rising much, much faster than the rate of inflation so -- and that's ultimately what the doj will focus on. what does this do to the price of content and, again, to the risks that you said before at&t would never have an incentive to whole turner content or hbo from as wide viewership as possible. that's actually not the case it's simply a math problem if i would make more money by keeping the content to myself and seeing my market share go up as a distributor, that is either better than or worse than the loss of the content distribution if it's better i do it, if it's worse, i wouldn't. it's just a math question. it's hard to do the math unless
you know in advance with some specificity what do the models tell you about what it would do for the market share. >> randall stephenson when he was talking to andrew said this repeatedly that there's so many competitors these days, and he made the point to say google and facebook, they were also competitors, so therefore the damage that could be done would be less because there's so many more players in the field. does that ring true to you >> not really. they players sure but first -- google is now, for youtube tv, but would randall stephenson and at&t in theory have the ability to raise the price to google? again the wholesale price of that content no disability google as a competitor of course they could, right? that's the concern again, i'm not saying that at&t will win or lose, and i'm not saying that ultimately that these vertical foreclosure
issues are going to prove dispositive, but it is not fair to say there are simply no risks of vertical foreclosure. there certainly are, and that's the reasons why the laws were writing in the '90s and that's why these deals, in media specifically, haval been considered problematic. if you're an investor, do you want the deal to go through at this point? or not. >> that's a good question. at&t keeps going up, but that's just merger arbs that are closing their trades longer term, it's a bit unclear if this is good or bad on the positive side it's the only thing -- because everything else is negative growth, and it would help with your different
covers at least a bit. other you would come out much more heavily levered and that so it's -- it's not entirely clear whether this would be good or bad. >> it's a lot to go through. >> think about it. this is a deal that was a $110 billion transaction. so $110 billion transaction when they announced it. at&t when they bought it moved less than 1% that day. so it tells you for a gigantic transaction like that, more or less the market saw it as a push. >> craig, thank you so much. always good to have you. he highlighted a depoliticized argument. >> i think you said a very smart thing about what randall stephenson said. they have tons of cash and currency if they decide to get into it, this is at&t moving their feet
it's really about data and distribution, so to me i think they're not fighting against the competitors. in my opinion, they're positions against what facebook, google and apple are going to do. >> i think it's concerning for at&t, though i mean, they were desperate to do a deal. if that doesn't happen, i think all the factors that we're forcing them to feel desperate are only worse >> because there's a solution. >> so i don't -- i wouldn't be long at&t, just with the -- what they are buying back. we are all over this story tonight as it developing the two companies are hosting a press conference happening at about 5:30 we'll bring it to you as it breaks one stock is up, and investors can't get enough of it plus the nasdaq 100
officially entering the longe bull mark, rallying for nine y atoyes. whis sp strategist saying it's time to take profit he's here to explain much more "fast money", after this it really scared him out of the markets. his advisor ran the numbers and showed that he wouldn't be able to retire until he was 68. the client realized, "i need to get back into the markets- i need to get back on track with my plan." the financial advisor was able to work with this client. he's now on track to retire when he's 65. having someone coach you through it is really the value of a financial advisor.
wifiso if you can't live without it...t it. why aren't you using this guy? it makes your wifi awesomely fast. no... still nope. now we're talking! it gets you wifi here, here, and here. it even lets you take a time out. no! no! yes! yes, indeed. amazing speed, coverage and control. all with an xfi gateway. find your awesome, and change the way you wifi.
merck tumbling near 2% today. >> it all has to do with the big battle of lung cancer. roesch is out with new data same a preliminary trial met its goal affecting stocks of both mevg and bristol mire to give you a sense of this magnitude of this market, at its peak it's estimated to be a $13 billion market in the u.s. and eu they dwernled significantly, so you can really see what's at stake here, but of course, merck trending down in the last month on its concerns of dominance, this against the backdrop for a bad morning. the ibb down about 7%, as there
are concerns after earnings season, particularly for celgene, so kind of a bad time for drug stocks, people hoping for goods in now back over to you pete, to you for the trade on bristol mire. >> actually i own merck, so that was a frustration for me. >> setback after setback. >> i still like the management, from the top down i like what they have. obviously there's pressure, and they're going well, in one of your best areas, i think that's something that's concerning. that makes sense merck is up for the challenge, i think, but this is clinical trials, these are trials that are going through the trials that is something that's very, very important, but we have seen them go further than this, and suddenly, if you don't get approval, then what? >> what does merck have to do in your view, though?
the earnings disappointment, in combination with another drug. now what >> easy answer i think what we will see going forward in 2018, we will start to see the pharmaceutical space start to do some of the mao we're doing. >> finally >> we kicked it off with gilyard a bit, and pfizer -- >> i mean, how does the stock -- >> up $12 billion in market cap -- well over a week or so. >> their second biggest drug, i think gentlemjanuvia is number . now it's happened, so you have to ask yourself the question, what is the right valuation. 1267 1/2 times forward earnings, does it make sense i'm sort of in pete's camp next guest says stay far art. about to get worse for big
pharma, so listen up, pete and guy. hi, carter. >> it's a curious thing, we know that health care is the second best performing for the year, and yes pharma is really dogging, up only 7%. let's look at facts and figures and then drill down. this sub-industry group of the s&p has a total of nine stocks, we know that it represents a total of a trillion dollars, and if you were to look at the weightings, these are the top three, some 70% of this subindustry of the nine stocks and again, as a group, they're up only 7-plus% of the year. they're not acting well, as the texal expression goes, to my eye, there's more to come. now, look at this setup. this is a three-year chart we have the s&p in blue, and
you've got this group, pharmaceuticals in orange. the first question is, why not play for convergence why not make the bet that pharmaceuticals will catch up? here's why, because they're still so far away on a long-term basis, meaning this is pharmaceuticals up here, and this is the s&p down here. so there is no catch-up. they still are so far ahead, i think this has more to go. all right. here's the trend line that's been in effect debt downgrade just say we again to trent that complies about a 6%, 7% move here, i think that's in the bag. that level is about 580 on this index. so let's look at the here-and-now charts. here's the one-year chart. we have clearly broken trend i mean, there's no other way to characterize that, four shots,
and then a break well, were we to come down to about 580, that would be right around here. that would be exactly where the long-term trendline comes into play again, about 6%, 7%, here's the one-year chart, and this is the really bad part. this is relative performance to the s&p. so yes, we're up over the past 12 months, and yet having broken trend, but here we are, we're making new 12-month relative lows that is bad and there's no other way to characterize it i think pharmaceuticals go lower as a group. >> we don't have time to invite you over, but quickly i wanted to ask about merck since these guys like merck. >> stocks that drop and gap on heavy volume the way celgene did and then do it again, by definition don't come back easily so there's something wrong, just resist the temptation, i think, to think it's cheap, and to buy it >> carter, thank you,.
>> i'm with him on the technicals when you this bywhat pete said think about what canned set in 2016, about drug pricing, about some of the disasters we've had in the drug space because of the m & a. look at all elerganallergan i think that's not a good reason to wade around in those things >> for me i can't wait up with a phase 3 failed trial, but if you do think there's m & a, i would go it the xpi and you don't wake up with a huge disaster. we're ready for the time warner/at&t press conference we will bring it to you live i'm melissa lee. you're watching "fast money" "fast money. in the meantime, here is what else is coming up fast ♪ who can say where the road goes ♪ ♪ where the day flows ♪ only time
>> announcer: wow, that was keel, but not nearly as cool as volvo's deal with uber to drive self-driving cars. we'll tell you what it could mean for the rest of the industry. plus guys bringing the heat much witchen one retail stock, and hit a 52-week high tayod he sees even more gains to come. more when "fast money" runs.
see you in court that is the message from the department of jurisdiction, as it sues to block the biggest media deal ever, what would be if it goes through, those companies are holding a joint press conference that's just getting started. for more, let's bring in media reporter julia boorstin in los angeles. hi, julia. >> reporter: when the press conference starts any second, we expect at&t to lay outs its case for the legality of the merger and to say that the company is
confident the court will rejected government's claims we expect to hear from randall stephenson, the gen counsel as well as outside counsel. stephenson will likely focus on the fact that it's a vertical merger and the doj has not succeedsfully blocked a vertical merger in nearly 50 years, and saying since then it's -- also likely to note that the two companies do not compete with each other and operate in highly competitive markets. they've had said in merger will create more competition, and also noted that the doj approved a similar merger between comcast and nbc university back in 2011. earlier in the month at the "new york times" conference stevenson said he's ready to defend the merger, and said at&t will ask for an competent dieted hearing. stephenson also say as they merge distribution and content,
they don't expect to distribute google and facebook, they just want an opportunity to compete this well. we'll be back with the latest. >> thank you very much, julia boorstin guy, what would be your question, as we listen for this press conference >> for -- >> what is the outstanding question you have. >> i'm asking mr. stephenson, do you think this is political, yes or no? you've seen deals like this go by, you mentioned the nbc deal is this a political witchhunt, or is this for legitimate business reasons, in your opinion? that's the first question i would ask. >> in terms of the chances of the deal going through, what are you listening for? >> i think he has to be as positive as he can, regardless of what he feels, but that having been said, i do believe he really thinking it's a strong, strong case. >> craig laid out some interesting points. >> he did. >> in terms of what an at&t/time warner could charge other
distributors of that same content. obviously it makes more sense to charge more, why not for a consumer, maybe not in the at&t family, but maybe in the verizon or comcast family. that could be more. >> that's interesting. that was a pretty interesting argument, in terms -- throw politics aside, what is the biggest pushback, and i think craig brought up a couple points it comes down to the numbers if there's a way they could raise the prices, but it's to less, it's going to work if the numbers work, that's the direction. >> and i think it speak toss behavioral remedies right? atlanta doesn't even seem to enter the picture. >> is it really dead maybe that is the way out for both sides, right? doj doesn't want an embarrassing loss, these guys want their deal done. >> wouldn't it still be a loss if they went the route of the
comcast/nbc remedies >> if they felt the remedies were strong enough. >> you asked david faber if there were any real conversations about, and randall even said to andrew ross sorkin, no, we won't be selling off. if the back-channel discussion was you have to sell cnn, i'm not sure what that does. >> is there a negotiation there? >> obviously not if they brought a suit at&t said they're not going to do, and i think stephenson will stand their ground that's the press conference on the left side. we'll go to that live, but in the meantime let's bring in "new york times" columnist james stewart, who joins us on the fast line tonight. we always like to get your analysis what do you think? what do you make of all this >> this will be a tough case for the government i call it epic antitrust case, which it is, in two ways, first
of all, is the vertical at the conversation itself legal, as somebody pointed out, about 50 years, and they have approved hundreds, so that's hurdle number one, hurdle two, if it is illegal, how dough remedy that the traditional way was consent to create behavioral agreement, and the justice department is trying to get these divest further. that is a radical remedy in a vertical case. i cannot think of any other vertical case that was held to be illegal where it was determined to be -- divestitures, so they have two big hurdles to get over, and we'll see. it certainly will be a novel theory >> we want to go to randall stephenson. >> jeff buikus and i went into this deal with decades of -- when we announced this deal, the
best legal minds in the country agreed this transaction would be approved, since or companies don't even compete with each other, but here we are the government has filed a lawsuit, and it stretches the very reach of antitrust law, beyond the breaking point. all of this in an effort to stop this combination this comes at a time when the communications and media industries are undergog some rather radical changes, market caps in the hundreds of billion are creating tons of original content and distributing it, distributely to the consumer this is disrupting both industries, media as well as communications industry, being done at a level and pace that most of us could not have even conceived of fiveiers. for example, netflix, they distribute their content to over 100 million customers. amazon distribute its content to its prime members, estimated to
be in excess of 60 million, google and facebook reach and distribute content to literally billions of customers, and the government contends that at&t, with 25 million tv customers and turner with a single-digit share of all media watched, will have on and off market power. this defies lodge and it is unprecedented. i've done a lot of dealing in my career, but i've never done one where we have disagreed with the department of justice so much on even the basic of facts. despite our disagreements, we have offered concrete and substantial solutions. as we head to court, we will continue to offer solutions that will allow this transaction to close. it cannot be lost in the noise that combines the two countries
will create ash every day we spend litigating this deal is a day we waste in bringing those benefits to the customers. we do not intend to settle this matter off simple expediency, because the rule of law is at issue here consistency in the application of law is critical in a free market economy and equally important for preserving confidence in our government confidence they will fairly ajude cakes the matters before them when the government suddenly, without notice or due process, discards decades of legal precedence, businesseslarge an small are left with no guideposts every business combination or significant investment becoming subject to the whim of a regulator, as we're seeing here that tends to be a roll of the dice we have no intention of proposing a solution that is beyond what the rule of law would require, and if there are legitimate concerns, there are
plenty of solutions within the precedent as well as within the doj's own guidelines, and we'll continue to propose those types of solutions to the government so before i hand this over to the legal teams, i do want to address the elephant in the room here there's been a lot of reporting and speculation whether this is all about cnn, and frankly i don't know but nobody should be surprised that the question keeps coming up, because we have witnessed such an bankrupt change in the application of antitrust law here but the bottom line is we can no, and we will not be party to any agreement that would even give the perception of compromising the first amendment protections of the press so any agreement that results in is forfeiting control of cnn, whether directly or indirectly, is a nonstarter. we believe quite prongly any divestiture of at&t assets or
time warner assets is not required by the law, and we have no intention of backing down we are in this to win. absent a reasonable compromise that doesn't violate or print pelgs, we expect to do just that so i'm going to turn it over to david. >> sure. just tounder core randall's point on the rule of law -- we've been listening to at&t's ceo laying out his counter-offense to the department of justice's lawsuit, which is filed this afternoon to blocked merger he went to great lengths to explain the competition out there, which includes amazon, which includes google with their customers, and to also simply address that question that guy had, which is is this about cnn? is this political? stephenson say, i don't know. >> which is the right answer. >> right. >> there should be no other answer he doesn't know
i think he was smart to beat the reporters to the punch in terms of the first question out of the gate. >> to me the most interesting things he said is we will continue to try other remedies, i guess, i don't know if that is the word he used, even as we go to court so maybe -- >> the door is open potentially, but he set he's not going to divest, if they were to come to some sort of pricing deal, maybe that's an out. he said he would offer solutions to try to get this deal done now that he -- >> giving up cnn is a nonstarter. >> he did answer that's correct absolutely. well to bring back in james stewart, jim, thanks for sticking with us, what did you make in terms of the case he was laying out. >> i think he was articulate, and made a very good case on the law, the industry, the inappropriateness of divestiture remedy, but he did say something there. every day we wait is a day the
consumer doesn't benefit at&t doesn't have the burden of proof in this case, but in the court of political opinion, they do they have to get out and explain why is this better for the average consumer he has stopped short of being specific about that. he needs to sell that point. secondly, i this i he has to address the main objection that a lot of people have, which is that somehow it's just too big, putting too much power in the hands of a few people, specifically him so they have to indicate why isn't this like bad somehow, that you now have this be haim moth company, which is such an important play in content. i think they can do those things he's talked about the rule of law. if the argument is that it's big and bad, how do you interpret that how big is bad is big bad in some industries but not others is it different from steel
is it different from shoes that is a standard that nobody has -- >> i thought while he made a compelling case, they didn't directly mention the government's point, which is he would result -- the flip side is he didn't say how it would benefit the consumer, but he didn't actually address the government's argument. no, and they're going to have to do that. i think -- i want to see the government's -- but the argument there will be higher prices that somehow at&t can charge more -- i mean, time warner, it's irrational it's already charging as much as they can get away with to maximize profit. that competitive landscape has not changed in the slightest the argument that at&t would somehow charge more to other carriers of time warner content, first of all that's illegal already, and secondly it is
typically taken care of with an agreement that you won't do that that can be -- agreed to that as part of the comcast merger, so it isn't clean that you necessarily will get higher prices, and if you did, it's not a profit-maximizing strategy for at&t, and i think the antitruth pops up the free market, i think you can trust the free market, you notice, to make sure they'll engage in a competitive way. jim, we're going to leave it there. thank you for phoning in we want to bring in craig moffett, who was good enough to stick around through the press conference what did you make of what stephenson had to say? >> i think he masse a good case. as jim just said, though, he would be well served to really make the case for why this benefits consumers. >> what is the case they could make >> the make they could make is they will directly offer lower
prices to their consumers i think normally you would have expected a -- the harder part here is -- and i had a chance to look a bit at the complaint, but getting through part of it, one of the things doj is concerned about is at&t mike withhold content from virtual competitors, even competitors that don't exist, yet, say an amazon or someone who wants to get into this space, and you could effectively prevent new competition. that's something they dealt with relatively easily, and by blocking the past to remedy, the doj has made it harder for themselves now you have created a very high
bar trying to prove this is a violation of antitrust law i'm very surprised the democratic oj decided to do this i would have thought they would have been settled with behavioral remedies. but when delrahim gave a speech, he basically painted himself into a corner, quite intentionally that that's not on the table, this is the only path, and now here we are. >> craig, thank you for sticking around dan, what do you think >> there was a guest on "closing bell", who brought up the tribune/sinclair period. they too get to about 70% of the u.s. households, that one is very right-leaning i disagree with guy when he said he doesn't know. i think that when asked about the question about cnn, the fact
he says i don't know leans, to me, it means i suspect so. >> what i'm saying is i think this will be important, and if it gets rectify this could -- >> you bring that up, you're talking about some of that stuff, it's interesting to listen to what craig is talking about, though. i don't know that they addressed the competition level well enough absolutely he knows. you could hear him saying a lot is going on -- >> something has changed. >> i think that said it all right there. it's going to be a brutal fight, it seems like. >> they want everyone to get fake news, right that's what it seems to me.
>> the distribution is fair and it won't cost anyone more? >> that wasn't my point, but the right answer is, i don't know. >> based on what he heard tonight, do you have any pin on which way the deal goes? >> it doesn't go forward. >> now we have a glimpse of the government's case, we have a glimpse of what randall stephenson says. >> it feels ago if it would be prolonged, it doesn't happen pete spoke about the options > rket there >>don't go away. we have much more on this very busy "fast money." stay tuned 's image center, new york state is now a leader in optics, photonics and imaging. fueled by strong university partnerships, providing the world's best talent. and supported with workforce development to create even more opportunities. all across new york state,
we're building the new new york. to grow your business with us in new york state, visit esd.ny.gov. your insurance on time. tap one little bumper, and up go your rates. what good is having insurance if you get punished for using it? news flash: nobody's perfect. for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise your rates due to your first accident. switch and you could save $782 on home and auto insurance. call for a free quote today. liberty stands with you™ liberty mutual insurance.
. welcome back to "fast money. guy? >> we don't have a lot of time, so i'm going to pitch dollar gen. it was a disaster in 2016, but look what this stock did traded down at the end of 16, held at $70 all through this year, slowly climbing? i think i know the reason why. last quarter not good, but inventories were only you said a bit. their sales growth was north of 8% what does that mean for this quarter? it means their margins are going to improve the analysts are starting to pick up look at what dollar tree
has done recently. i think that augers well for dollar gen my last point -- valuation, both dollar tree and dollar gen traded at discount to the historical norms i think those -- and you see the chart here i think those stocks will start to peak back up to levels we say three, four years ago, and i think it trades up to $98. back to you, mel. >> anyone have a quick question? >> how do you determine between the two now? >> that's a great question i tell you what, dollar tree has had its move, and i think you'll get some follow-through, but dollar tree in terms of stock is about three to five weeks ahead of what i think dollar gen is going to do. dollar tree has already retraced that whole move from 2016, dollar gen is probably in the 6 1/2, 7 inning.
>> why does it deserve to trade -- >> just quickly. >> i think historically they trade there. but i also think they're not as amazon-able as the market suggests. dan threw me all off. >> not amazon-able >> not a buy. >> you're going to miss the run. >> i wouldn't care, but -- >> two sells, one buy. all right. i now you're shocked. you know, let us know what you think. you have like two minutes to teso vote right now. the results and final trades, right after this i think it's terrific. your kids go to college and you start trading. >>yeah, 5 years already. 5 years, hmm. you ever call your broker for help? >>once, when volatility spiked... and? >>by the time they got me an answer, it was too late. td ameritrade's elite service team can handle
your toughest questions right away- with volatility, it's all about your risk distribution. good to know. >>thanks, mike. we got your back kate. >>does he do that all the time? oh yeah, sometimes he pops out of the couch. help from real traders. only with td ameritrade. think of all the things ithat think these days. businesses are thinking. factories are thinking. even your toaster is thinking. honey, clive owen's in our kitchen. i'm leaving. oh never mind, he's leaving. but what if a business could turn all that thinking... thinking... endless thinking into doing? to make better decisions. make a difference. make the future. not next week while you think about it a little more. but right now. is there a company that can help you do all that? ♪ i can think of one. ♪
♪ i love you so much. we're going to be best friends forever. let out your inner child at the lexus december to remember sales event. experience amazing at your lexus dealer. at t-mobile, when you holiday together, great things come in twos. right now when you buy any of this season's hot new samsung galaxy phones, you get a second one free to gift. that's one samsung for you. one to give. t-mobile. holiday twogether.
cue the drumroll who doesn't shop at the dollar store? toni braxton see in that short amount of time -- boo-hoo. >> a great pitch. >> time for the final trade. pete >> i love the don'test, dollar tree, not dollar general, going up high. >> yes, i'm thinking inflation has been coming for a while. >> yeah, for you o.a. fans, i think you can play at&t for long calls. boy. >> all three of them
[ laughter ] >> a lot happening in this show. we brought the guests back a couple times. >> moffett is the best. >> dollar gen, sister. see you back here tomorrow at 5:00. "mad money" with my mission is simple, to make you money i'm here to level the playing field for all investors. there's always a bull market somewhere and i promise to help you find it. "mad money" starts now hey i'm cramer, welcome to "mad money. welcome to cram america. other part-time want to make friends i'm trying to make you money. call me 1-800-734-cnbc or tweet me @jim cramer this is it, there is the week where the bi