The AT&T logo is seen below the BellSouth Bell logo on the Main BellSouth building in Atlanta. (Photographer: Chris Rank/Bloomberg News.)

Disney, Fox Lose Bid to Keep Business Secrets Out of AT&T Case

(Bloomberg) -- Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox Inc. lost their bid to keep sensitive business documents out of the antitrust case pitting AT&T Inc. against the U.S. Justice Department.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said he’d deny Disney’s motion, filed on the eve of Thursday’s court hearing, asking to limit its disclosures as the government works to block AT&T’s $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner Inc.

The Justice Department also said it plans to depose 40 to 50 witnesses, while AT&T said it likely would interview 20 or fewer. The trial is set to start March 19, and Leon thanked both sides for having few disagreements since the lawsuit was filed a month ago. Another hearing is set for Jan. 5.

Disney sought to shield information relating to agreements that it and Fox have with pay-TV companies to distribute their programming as well as data on revenue, pricing and subscribers, according to its Wednesday filing. Disney and Fox already provided the data to the Justice Department during its review of the AT&T-Time Warner deal.

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