Saturday, 20 October, 2018

AT&T wins court approval to buy Time Warner for $85 billion

Comcast’s offer for 21st Century Fox sets up a battle of wills between two of the most dominant and deep-pocketed entertainment companies in the world — Walt Disney and Comcast Comcast readying new bid for 20th Century Fox film and TV assets
Herman Weaver | 14 June, 2018, 03:58

Like the AT&T deal, a Comcast purchase of the Fox assets would be a vertical acquisition - that is, the companies operate in complimentary, not the same, businesses.

As expected, Comcast Corp. entered into a bidding war with The Walt Disney Co.by making a $65 billion all-cash offer for 21st Century Fox's key assets. What's important to remember is that Disney and 21st Century Fox already agreed on a $52.4 billion all-stock deal in December of 2017.

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock said Fox's proposal to divest Sky News to Disney - or any other suitable buyer - is likely to be the most effective way to tackle any public interest concerns. Part of the business will be used to create an entity called "New Fox", which will include the highly lucrative Fox News, the sports channels FS1 and FS2, and the Fox broadcasting channel.

In an open letter to 21st Century Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch and his sons, Lachlan and James Murdoch, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said its bid had received unanimous approval from its board of directors and would not require a shareholder vote to proceed.

Analysis - The global media landscape may be in for a major shake-up in the wake of the approval of a mega-merger betweem telecoms giant AT&T and media firm Time Warner. While the Department of Justice could still appeal, Comcast seems to believe the gateway is open and chose to go in with a heavy hand in regards to 21st Century Fox.

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A special master determined last week that just 162 of the 300,000 items she reviewed were protected by attorney-client privilege. Cohen cooperating with the feds in exchange for leniency if he faces a possible indictment over God knows what".


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Sanford had represented the Charleston district on and off for six terms, with eight years in the Governor's Mansion in between. The hosts were discussing Donald Trump critic Mark Sanford's defeat Tuesday in South Carolina's first congressional district.


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In mid-December, The Walt Disney Company announced it would purchase 21st Century Fox, including the 20th Century Fox Film and Television studios, along with cable and global TV businesses, for $52.4 billion.

Guess we'll just have to wait and see. Comcast also said it would reimburse the money Fox would owe Disney for terminating that deal.

Murdoch, 87, also wasn't swayed by Comcast's overtures because the cable company didn't offer a breakup fee. They own a 17-percent stake and would face a multi-billion dollar capital gains tax bill if he accepted an all-cash offer from Comcast, tax experts have told Reuters.

But Fox's size ($28.5 billion in annual revenue in 2017) and franchises (they range from "X-Men" to "Modern Family") make it a prize neither Comcast nor Disney feel they can pass up. The DOJ filed suit in November, claiming that the Time Warner deal would eventually result in higher TV prices for millions of consumers. It would also be the 12th largest deal in any sector, the data showed.

The tie-up would Wednesday largest U.S. pay-TV operator and the second-largest wireless phone carrier with Time Warner, owner of premium channel HBO, the Warner Bros studios, Cartoon Network and CNN. The ruling blesses the $85 billion merger, one of the biggest media deals ever.

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