AT&T and Time Warner say they have a clear path to complete their newly approved merger, now that the Justice Department has signaled it won't ask for a temporary block during a potential appeal of the judge's ruling. The deal could be closed soon.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — AT&T and Time Warner say they have a clear path to complete their newly approved merger. Their lawyer says the Justice Department has signaled it won’t ask for a postponement while it ponders an appeal of a judge’s ruling.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled against the government’s attempt to block the $85 billion deal on antitrust grounds. Now the companies could close their merger “as soon as possible,” according to a Thursday letter from their lead attorney to Justice Department lawyers. The government is still considering whether to appeal Leon’s ruling to a higher court.

The companies’ attorney, Daniel Petrocelli, said he understood that the Justice Department “has no objection to closing this merger as soon as possible” and won’t seek an injunction.