Comcast Attempts to Outbid Disney For Fox

Comcast Attempts to Outbid Disney For Fox

DOJ antitrust official Makan Delrahim said his agency will consider "next steps" but Judge Richard Leon was explicit in warning the DOJ against requesting a stay or otherwise trying to delay the merger, saying such an action would be "manifestly unjust". He teaches constitutional law in the political science department at the University of California, San Diego, and practices at the firm Constantine Cannon.

Leon's decision is a blow to Delrahim, who brought in a new enforcement approach with the case.

"I don't think either will have a significant advantage over the other", given that both Disney and Comcast seem motivated to divest what they need to win a deal with Fox, said Ketan Jhaveri, a former Justice Department attorney who served on the telecommunications task force. The new $65 billion offer from Comcast also includes a $2.5 billion reverse breakup fee if the deal is struck down by the government.

Comcast is widely expected to bid within days for part of 21st Century Fox.

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In a scathing opinion bit.ly/2Jxx6qE, he urged the US government not to seek a stay of his ruling, saying it would be "manifestly unjust" to do so and not likely to succeed.

A Comcast-Fox deal would be another vertical merger, like the AT&T-Time Warner deal. "The immediate fallout of this decision is likely to be an attempt by Comcast to outbid Disney for the media content owned by Fox". But AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson remained at the company's headquarters in Dallas, and he learned of the ruling when AT&T general counsel David McAtee called him, a spokesperson said. If Facebook were to buy Netflix, would that a vertical merger between a social media company or a horizontal merger between two digital providers?

Leon of the U.S. District Court in Washington, said the Justice Department had not proved that the telecom company's acquisition of Time Warner would lead to fewer choices for consumers and higher prices for television and internet services. That would cover the Fox movie and TV studios, plus its share of Hulu, the FX cable networks and about $13 billion in debt, and is separate from Comcast's competing bid (against Fox) to acquire United Kingdom pay-TV giant Sky.

"AT&T is buying Time Warner, and thus CNN", Trump said at a campaign rally in 2016.

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The deal, which could close next week, is seen as a turning point for a media industry that has been upended by companies like Netflix Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google which produce content and sell it online directly to consumers, without requiring a pricey cable subscription. "The fact is that they've gotten a little easier, and we'll see a big flurry of deals".

CNN is owned by Time Warner.

Shares of AT&T were about flat in after-hours trade following the decision, while Time Warner rose more than 5 percent. But Leon blocked discovery on certain White House communications AT&T and Time Warner sought, and ultimately the companies dropped that defense, choosing to litigate the case on pure anti-trust grounds. Therefore, AT&T would likely increase the rates that other content distributors must pay to air Time Warner content - forcing its rivals to either raise prices on their subscribers (which would inspire some consumers to switch to DirectTV), or else accept lower profit margins (which would impair their ability to compete with AT&T in the long term).

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