Court approves AT&T's $85 billion buyout of Time Warner

Court approves AT&T's $85 billion buyout of Time Warner

Court approves AT&T's $85 billion buyout of Time Warner

A Comcast takeover of Fox would be similar to AT&T's so-called vertical merger with Time Warner in that it would combine two markedly businesses working at separate parts of the ecosystem.

Comcast said it has offered $65bn (£48.6bn) in cash for Fox's film and television studios and global businesses. Comcast's shares fell 4%, as the price for winning the assets likely just increased. Those internet players started out as "over the top" video distributors that deliver content to your home TV on broadband pipes provided by ISPs like AT&T and Comcast. "This merger will further strengthen Comcast's hand, making it far more hard for rivals to compete".

This offer is up from Comcast's first bid of $60 billion, which was also an all-cash deal. Content is becoming more important as ways to deliver content proliferate. AT&T and Time Warner claimed the deal will be good for consumers and help them compete against tech companies such as Google and Facebook. As for the larger picture, as far as Disney is concerned, this deal was going to help give them a big edge in the streaming game, which will be huge for the future. Comcast said it expects to close the deal 12 months after Fox signs on to it. With Fox, Comcast would expand a portfolio that already includes US television rights to the Olympics and comedy offerings such as "Saturday Night Live". Both Comcast and Disney have their own stakes in Hulu, and whoever gets Fox would control the majority. Those will be spun off into a newly-listed company. That's key for Comcast, which now doesn't have an global presence. The deal would not include Fox News. Like Disney, Comcast is willing to divest Fox's regional sports networks if regulators demand it, according to company filings. Roberts has said that Comcast would match Disney's $2.5 billion breakup fee should the deal fall apart due to regulatory issues. In turn, that could drive up what consumers pay. "AT&T Watch would be a very low end, very thin collection of products, and I think this one will be based on getting the Time Warner deal done", AT&T's CEO John Stephens said. In 2017, Disney's Buena Vista held a dominant 21.8% of the movie market share, while Universal Pictures held 13.8% with 20th Century Fox at 12%. That could raise regulatory objections. "Comcast executives had awaited the decision in that case" NYT reports, "before mounting their bid for 21st Century Fox".

United Kingdom regulators have given the go ahead for that offer if Fox sells Sky News. It also said, "21st Century Fox has not yet made a determination, in light of Comcast's proposal, as to whether it will postpone or adjourn" its July 10 stockholder meeting to discuss the Disney acquisition. That's a grand total of $65 billion, which is 19% better than the current Disney offer. In addition the cable giant says it will reimburse Fox the full $1.525bn break-up fee it would owe Disney if Team Rodent's offer is turned down. Disney is the parent company of 6abc.

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