AT&T gets clearance to devour Time Warner for $85 BEEEELION

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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. As reported by CNBC, the global telecommunications conglomerate was willing to offer $60B in cash for the Rupert Murdoch-founded company.

Fox's board will now have to decide whether Comcast's offer beats Disney's.

In addition to the $35 United States per share cash offer, Comcast agreed to pay a $2.5-billion U.S. termination fee if the deal doesn't pass regulatory muster.

AT&T said it needed Time Warner to survive in a rapidly changing media landscape, especially to compete against giants like Netflix and Amazon. And it looks like they're coming out swinging: a Comcast Fox deal would mean that Comcast would buy the Fox assets for a hefty $65 billion, far surpassing Disney's offer of $52 billion. And Leon's decision is likely to trigger a wave of new mergers, as many executives were waiting to for the outcome of AT&T's bid before pushing forward with their desired deals. No decision has been made on whether to delay a scheduled July 10 shareholder vote on Disney's offer. Comcast said last month that its new offer would be at least as favorable to Fox shareholders as Disney's terms.

Shares of 21st Century Fox rose about 1.2% in after-hours trading immediately following the bid.

Comcast also hammered home the pocket book issues: noting that an all-stock deal comes with "substantial risks" associated with price fluctuation. Specifically, he said the government did not show how Turner would have any more leverage with carriers as part of AT&T, nor did they show that AT&T would get an unfair advantage over other carriers. Comcast, a distributor of content, would have access to Fox's popular franchises like X-Men and the Avengers as well its its production studios, to broadcast to its subscribers. Comcast is expected to bid for some of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. assets as soon as tomorrow.

Initially, the companies planned to use a "selective enforcement" defense, alleging that the administration was blocking the deal because of Trump's disdain for CNN.

The Justice Department can appeal and could ask an appellate court to stay the ruling, though Leon said he hoped the government would have the "good judgment" not to do so. In more recent times, sources claimed Comcast was putting together a $60 billion bid.

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

The tie-up would Wednesday largest USA pay-TV operator and the second-largest wireless phone carrier with Time Warner, owner of premium channel HBO, the Warner Bros studios, Cartoon Network and CNN.

Some critics of President Trump have questioned whether the case was brought as political payback against Time Warner's CNN for unfavorable coverage of President Trump, who often called the cable news channel "fake news".

Image: Disney also wants to buy Fox.

Regulators in this country also have cleared Comcast's $30.7bn offer for the 61% of Sky that Mr Murdoch does not own.

"We continue to believe that the pay-TV market will be less competitive and less innovative as a result of the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner", Delrahim said in a statement. The merged companies could withhold programming from competitors, pressuring consumers to switch to AT&T services.

Disney and Fox did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But a court ruling this week on a similar merger may have alleviated those worries.

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