AT&T allowed to close Time Warner deal

The US government and AT&T have agreed to conditions to close the Time Warner merger

The US government and AT&T Inc have agreed on conditions that will allow the wireless company to close its deal for Time Warner Inc while the Justice Department considers an appeal.

In a joint filing, the two sides have agreed to certain conditions and asked a federal judge to authorise the companies to close their $US85 billion ($A114 billion) merger.

The government has 60 days to appeal. AT&T said on Thursday it could close the deal as early as this week.

Among the conditions, AT&T agreed to manage the Turner networks separately from the rest of AT&T Communications and to have no role in setting Turner's prices.

The deal is seen as a turning point for a media industry that has been upended by companies such as Netflix Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google.

The younger firms produce content, sell it online directly to consumers and often offer lucrative targeted advertising.

The AT&T ruling is also expected to trigger a wave of mergers in the media sector, led by Comcast Corp's $US65 billion bid for the entertainment assets of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.

The agreement on Thursday removes a potentially major hurdle to AT&T closing its deal before a June 21 deadline.

If the Justice Department had sought a stay and been successful it could have meant the company could not close and would owe Time Warner $US500 million and potentially allow for the deal to be renegotiated.

The filing says the conditions agreed to by AT&T would remain in effect until February 28, 2019, the conclusion of the case or an appeal by the Department of Justice.

Judge Richard Leon of the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled on Tuesday the deal to marry AT&T's wireless and satellite businesses with Time Warner's movies and television shows was legal under competition law.

The Justice Department had argued it was not.