Thursday, June 14, 2018
After AT&T-Time Warner comes the deluge.
Comcast bid $65 billion for Fox’s entertainment business Wednesday, a day after a federal judge has cleared AT&T’s $85 billion takeover of Time Warner.
If Comcast succeeds in outbidding Disney for Fox, it would give a major cable distributor control even more channels on its lineup and those of its rivals. There are fears that it could lead to higher cable bills or hinder online alternatives.
But U.S. District Judge Richard Leon cleared the AT&T deal Tuesday despite similar concerns. The ruling signaled that federal regulators might have a hard time stopping companies from getting bigger by gobbling up rivals and the content they own.
Here’s a look at some of the proposed combinations that could transform the media landscape and change how people get their entertainment.
FOX WITH DISNEY OR COMCAST
Disney has made a $52.4 billion all-stock offer for the bulk of Twenty-First Century Fox, including the studios behind the “Avatar” movies, “The Simpsons” and “Modern Family,” along with National Geographic. Marvel would get back the characters previously licensed to Fox, reuniting X-Men with the Avengers.
SPRINT AND T-MOBILE
In April, the two telecom companies announced a $26.5 billion combination. The deal would combine the nation’s third- and fourth-largest wireless companies and bulk them up to a similar size to Verizon and AT&T, the industry giants.
CBS AND VIACOM
CBS has resisted pressure from its controlling shareholder, National Amusements, to merge with Viacom, which also is controlled by National Amusements. The two companies used to be one but separated in 2005.
Verizon, which bought AOL and Yahoo in recent years, could be on the prowl for other entertainment properties. Verizon wants to challenge Google and Facebook in the huge and lucrative field of digital advertising – and having more content could help. There’s speculation that CBS could be a potential target. With its main wireless rival AT&T becoming even more of a content powerhouse, Verizon might feel the need to grow.