Comcast offers $65 billion for Fox, says government won’t stop merger

Comcast readying new bid for 20th Century Fox film and TV assets

"The government here has taken its best shot to block the merger based on the law and facts, and within the time allowed". He called one of the government's arguments against the deal "gossamer thin".

Ryan Radia, a research fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a right-of-center think tank in Washington, praised the ruling.

The Fox television network and some cable channels including Fox News and Fox Business Network would stay with Murdoch's family under either deal, as with the newspaper and book businesses under a separate company, News Corp. "We've had far too much consolidation causing far too much harm to consumers".

Cornell law professor George Hay added that the ruling found the government's evidence lacking, rather than a broader determination of how vertical mergers affected competition.

Seeing as a merger between 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company would allow Marvel Studios unrestricted access to the characters mentioned above, the amalgamation has piqued the interest of MCU devotees hoping to observe a crossover between the mutant brethren and Marvel Studios' multi-billion dollar franchise. As such, Comcast has improved an offer it discussed with Fox previous year by saying it's offering $2.5 billion in case the deal doesn't go through and would reimburse Fox for another $1.5 billion it will owe Disney for breaking their arrangement.

Leon's opinion may also increase the chances that other deals already reached, like CVS' bid for Aetna and T-Mobile's proposed merger with Sprint, will survive regulatory scrutiny.

More news: United States, Canada and Mexico to jointly host 2026 World Cup

Many antitrust experts were surprised by the Justice Department's suit.

To see how this could happen, consider that, after the merger, AT&T would have the rights to all of HBO's output, CNN, live National Basketball Association and NCAA broadcasts, and many more desirable Time Warner properties.

AT&T argued that it was the very threats posed by the likes of Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook that demanded it expand into a media-tech titan. Should this happen, it would merge the likes of NBC and Universal with FX and 20th Century Fox. If he does not approve the deal, AT&T is expected to keep fighting. Cable systems that refused would no longer be able to show the programs. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has talked about how a combined AT&T-Time Warner could create new possibilities for video distribution and grow existing streaming offerings like DirecTV Now and HBO Now.

Trump's criticism prompted speculation the lawsuit was politically motivated. President Donald Trump, while still a candidate, said he would block the deal "because it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few".

Before the trial started, AT&T lawyers said the Time Warner deal may have been singled out for government enforcement but the judge rejected their bid to force the disclosure of White House communications that might have shed light on the matter. Before Leon's verdict, AT&T's stock price was down more than 10 percent on the year, as DirectTV was bleeding subscribers.

The ruling was a blow to the Department of Justice, which had challenged the acquisition plan. And the outcome of this case may not foretell the future. The Justice Department "did a good job just focusing on this merger. and how it would be abusive, not just how bad".

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