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The U.S. Justice Department said it's appealing a judge's decision allowing AT&T's takeover of Time Warner, renewing the government's antitrust fight against a merger that created a telecommunications and media giant.

The department's antitrust division filed a notice of appeal Thursday in Washington federal court. AT&T slipped 0.9 percent to $31.95 in extended trading at 4:19 p.m. in New York.

A Justice Department win at the appeals level would undo a stinging rebuke for the government and vindicate the decision by the head of the antitrust division, Makan Delrahim, to challenge the Time Warner takeover. The case has been closely watched because it's the first time in decades a court has decided a merger of companies that operate in a different parts of a supply chain. Another loss would set a binding precedent that could restrict future enforcement against these so-called vertical deals.

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