Afternoon Coffee: AT&T-Time Warner Deal Wins Appeal vs. Trump Justice Dept.; Tipalti Adds Foreign Currency Exchange Solution

A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled that a lower court judge didn't err when approving the $80+ billion AT&T-Time Warner merger that the Justice Department opposed, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“The decision cements one of the biggest losses for the Justice Department’s antitrust division in a generation,” the Journal reports. “The DOJ lawsuit, filed in November 2017, was the first major antitrust action under the Trump administration, and the case marked the first time in 40 years the government fully litigated a case challenging a ‘vertical’ merger that combined two companies that didn’t compete head-to-head.”

The ruling may clear the way for the merger to continue, but AT&T had agreed to rules about a timeline, and those expire at the end of February, the Journal reports.

There’s also a political component to this deal because Time Warner, the owner of CNN, is involved and because President Donald Trump dislikes CNN.

“AT&T has continued to question whether the (Justice Department) had political motivations for suing, in light of President Trump’s pledge as a candidate that he would block the deal if he won the White House,” the Journal reports. “The Justice Department denied that politics played any role. That issue wasn’t part of the case, as (the judge) cut off the company’s ability to raise it.”

Tipalti Launches Multi-FX

Tipalti, a provider of global payables automation platform, on Tuesday announced the launch of a foreign exchange solution called Multi-FX.

It allows customers to fund their Tipalti account in a single currency and then convert that money to a local currency for payouts.

“With Multi-FX, finance organizations can use Tipalti to save significant time that would otherwise be spent working across various banking systems to fund entities and convert currencies prior to making payments,” the California-based company said in a release.

Tipalti CEO Chen Amit said the ability to make international payments in multiple currencies is a key step for Tipalti to enable companies to scale their payables operations globally.

“Our approach saves organizations money and time, while allowing customers to leverage our competitive FX rates,” Amit said in a statement. “Multi-FX is yet one more way we are helping CFOs to transform global payables, eliminating financial operations complexity for high-growth multi-national businesses.”

SourceDay Grows Revenue, Board

Procurement software provider SourceDay on Tuesday detailed how it is growing: adding two board members and reporting 230% revenue growth year over year, as well as adding customers and staff.

The Austin, Texas-based provider — which specializes in automating direct spend procurement, purchase order management and supplier collaboration — says Paul Bell, a former Dell veteran and partner at Leading Edge Capital, and Christopher Shonk, a partner at ATX Seed Investors and adviser to SourceDay, have joined its board.

SourceDay CEO Tom Kieley said in the statement:

“We’re incredibly proud of the success and growth we’ve seen over the past several years, and adding Paul and Chris to our board is just another step towards building the elite team that will help us build on and accelerate that growth.”

In December, SourceDay raised $6.5 million in a Series A funding round, which included Shonk’s firm.

Brexit Now in Parliament’s Hands

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday bowed to opposition in her government and put the course of UK’s exit from the European Union in the hands of Parliament, the Associated Press reports.

“May told legislators she would give them three choices: approve the divorce agreement she has struck with the EU, vote to leave the bloc on March 29 without a deal, or ask the EU to delay Brexit by up to three months,” the AP reports.

The voting would start March 12.

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