June 18, 2018

Why the AT&T mega-merger is a green light for other businesses

14 June 2018, 06:29 | Winston Chapman

AT&T-Time Warner Merger Gets The Green Light From Federal Court

AT&T, Time Warner Merger Approved by Judge

In one of the most anticipated antitrust rulings in decades, federal judge Richard Leon approved the $85 billion merger between AT&T and Time Warner.

Keep reading for future details on the fate of the 21st Century Fox assets! Comcast announced in May that it was preparing an offer to buy 21st Century Fox after an earlier bid was rejected, and news reports suggest that an offer could come as soon as Wednesday. The younger firms produce content, sell it online directly to consumers and often offer lucrative targeted advertising. Whichever company prevails would also control Fox's cable and worldwide TV businesses.

Murdoch, 87, also wasn't swayed by Comcast's overtures because the cable company didn't offer a breakup fee.

He said that, without those undertakings, he would have to block the takeover - but stressed this was not his "preferred option".

The Comcast bid includes the same $2.5 billion termination fee and $1.5 billion break-up fee should the deal fail to close as Disney offered.

Disney made a $US52.4 billion all-stock bid for Fox, which was accepted in December.

Roberts said he had been "disappointed" that Fox had entered into negotiations with Disney but was "highly confident" that his new offer would be approved by regulators. Comcast is bidding independently for the same stake, leaving Sky's fate uncertain. The assets at stake include the Fox film studio (which owns the Avatar franchise, the film rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four and the original Star Wars), its TV studio, its cable networks and its stake in Hulu.

"21st Century Fox remains subject to the Disney Merger Agreement", said Fox in a statement today.

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The Rodong Sinmun dedicated the first four pages to the previous day's landmark summit between Kim Jong Un and U.S. Rodman appeared more optimistic in terms of Trump's efforts to reach out to both him and North Korea.

'Avengers: Infinity War' crosses $2 billion in box office
It's now the third highest-grossing offshore release of all time behind Avatar ($2.027 billion), and Titanic ($1.528 billion). The film now sits at #4 of the all-time box office list and is $67 million away from passing Star Wars: The Force Awakens .

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He added that he suspected he "somewhat had something to do with this North Korean situation". Mr Trump famously vowed to unleash "fire and fury" if Pyongyang kept threatening the US.

Daniel Petrocelli, lead attorney for AT&T and Time Warner, speaks with the media outside the U.S. District Court on June 12, 2018 in Washington, DC.

The deal cost AT&T's top lobbyist, Bob Quinn, his job in May after it became public that AT&T had paid Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen $600,000 for advice on winning approval.

"Any deal that's coming down the pike that's not baked yet knows the government's playbook". Consistence in the application of the law is critical in a free market economy and it's equally important for preserving confidence in our government, confidence that they will fairly adjudicate the matters brought before them. And make a move they did.

Comcast said the deal offers "superior and more certain value as compared to Disney's all-stock offer".

We have long admired what the Murdoch family has built at Twenty-First Century Fox.

The ruling could also have implications for CBS Corp's potential tie-up with Viacom Inc, which is already uncertain because of a lawsuit between CBS's controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, and its board.

Craig Moffett, an analyst with MoffettNathanson, said in a research note that Disney could prevail for other reasons.

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