US Department of Justice has demanded the sale of CNN, before it can approve AT&T’s proposed $85-billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc.

The channel has been targeted by US President, Donald Trump and branded “fake news” on a number of occasions. It now seems the broadcaster is preparing to take the Trump administration to court to argue that the deal does not pose any threat to competition, according to

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson released a statement saying, “Until now, we’ve never commented on our discussions with the DOJ. But given DOJ’s statement this afternoon, it’s important to set the record straight. Throughout this process, I have never offered to sell CNN and have no intention of doing so.”

In a statement sent later Wednesday afternoon, a DOJ spokesperson said, “The Department is committed to carrying out its duties in accordance with the laws and the facts. Beyond that, the Department does not comment on any pending investigation.”

Today’s news comes, just hours after it merged in the UK of Sky News facing closure to avoid scuppering up the 21st Century Fox merger with Sky.