(Bloomberg) -- AT&T Inc. can close its $85 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc. after the U.S. Justice Department agreed that it won’t seek a court order temporarily blocking the deal in the event it decides to appeal.

The Justice Department is still deciding whether to appeal a decision Tuesday by a federal judge in Washington that allowed the takeover to proceed, according to a department official.

The filing indicates the government is likely to appeal.

AT&T has agreed to manage Turner networks as a separate business unit until February 2019 under an agreement with the government, according to a letter filed by AT&T Thursday. That separation means that if the Justice Department appeals and wins, Turner can be more easily divested.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon denied the Justice Department’s request for an injunction blocking the Time Warner deal on antitrust grounds.

To contact the reporter on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at dmclaughlin9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net

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