Comcast Makes Bid For 21st Century Fox In Big Hollywood Power Play

Source Google

Source Google

In a ruling issued Tuesday afternoon, Judge Richard Leon said that the DOJ had failed to show how the combined tv and telco giants would substantially harm competition in the United States market.

Leon also said it would be harmful for him to put a temporary stay on the merger while the government appeals his decision, if it does so.

The Justice Department had sued to block the merger, in light of the latter potential consequences.

A federal judge has approved AT&T's merger with Time Warner.

CNN is owned by Time Warner.

Harry Litman is the former USA attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania and deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice. The Justice Department had argued that letting AT&T (a content distributor) combine with Time Warner (a content creator) would reduce competition between the mobile-phone giant and its rivals, and thus, hurt consumers.

AT&T General Counsel David McAtee now expects its purchase of Time Warner to close by June 20.

"We are pleased that, after conducting a full and fair trial on the merits, the Court has categorically rejected the government's lawsuit to block our merger with Time Warner". He has indeed ruled in favor of the merger, despite government opposition.

Comcast has made an all-cash offer of roughly $65 billion to acquire Fox's assets.

Fox has already said it would be prepared to sell Sky News to Disney in advance of its proposed takeover of Sky to overcome any concerns about media plurality in the UK.

Shares of AT&T spiked immediately after the announcement and are now down about 2% in after-hours trading.

"Brian Roberts and Team Comcast are cleared to bid", BTIG Research analyst Rich Greenfield told CNNMoney after the ruling.

This could set off a battle between Comcast and Disney .

A Comcast spokesperson declined to comment.

"We are highly confident in our ability to finance the transaction, and our offer includes no financing-related conditions", Roberts said.

Some of AT&T's top executives traveled to Washington for the announcement.

While the motive behind the challenge to AT&T's deal may never be known, Blair said politicizing the process would be "extremely risky for the country".

Now that a federal judge has approved AT&T's $85 billion takeover of Time Warner, other companies are likely to rush to consolidate. The companies also are interested in expanding internationally at a time when the U.S. television business is slowing. It is also being reported by Variety that AT&T Watch will be offered to AT&T Wireless customers for free. This was the biggest antitrust case in many years, potentially paving the way for similar deals among other companies. But some outside of government are anxious about what it could mean for competition.

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