Washington:AT&T Inc. and media and entertainment group Time Warner Inc., which are seeking to merge despite US justice department opposition, extended the termination date for their deal to 21 June, AT&T said in a filing on Friday.

The justice department sued in November to stop the $85 billion deal, and a trial is to begin on 19 March.

Judge Richard Leon said during a hearing at the US district court for the District of Columbia in early December that he would likely not have a decision by the deadline in the companies’ merger agreement, but would rule in late April or May.

Under a previous agreement, either company could terminate the deal if it was not completed as of 22 April.