US Court Approves $85Bln AT&T Merger With CNN Owner Time Warner

Thursday, 14 Jun, 2018

Comcast has made an all-cash bid of $65 billion to acquire a majority of Fox's media assets (including 21st Century Fox), upping the pressure on its biggest rival in the proceedings: The Walt Discney Co.

AT&T and Time Warner's lead lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, said outside court that the companies were gratified and relieved.

The $65bn bid, made on Wednesday afternoon, comes in a week of seismic change for the media industry. "The question is whether Disney is ready because unlike in 2004, Comcast is in it to win!"

Comcast originally outbid Disney back in December of past year, but Fox entered into a loose agreement with Disney largely partially because of fears about government regulations and antitrust concerns.

The fight will play out in real time over the next week as Fox readies for a scheduled board meeting on June 20 at which the issue will be raised.

Bottom line: if the Fox-Disney merger is approved, YES Network will be owned by the same company which owns the ESPN empire. Time Warner's assets will help the telecommunications company keep up. But those players also want to be both distributor and producer, and that's why they began to produce their own shows like Netflix's House of Cards and Amazon's Transparent.

"We are grateful to the court for seeing it the way we did", Gindseberg said.

The Philadelphia-based company is preparing an offer for 21st Century Fox. That's key for Comcast, which now doesn't have an global presence.

"Brian Roberts and Team Comcast are cleared to bid", BTIG Research analyst Rich Greenfield told CNNMoney after the ruling. The Fast vs. The Furious becomes a reality.

As part of the latest offer, the telecom giant said it would pay Fox $4 billion if the deal doesn't get approved by regulators. Cable company Charter chtr has not been involved in any rumored deals lately, and Verizon vz has talked down interest in buying a major media company while selecting for its next CEO an executive with experience in the communications infrastructure business.

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

Comcast may have a tough time winning over Fox's largest shareholder, Rupert Murdoch's family. Fox shares spiked on news of the judge's decision.

The fight over Fox would play out on the largest possible corporate stage.

But Comcast investors haven't welcomed the company's sudden appetite for megadeals.

But the decision is also expected to have significant ripple effects, as it likely will make the government less likely to challenge some other pending deals. The firm's properties include the original Star Wars movies, the X-Men franchise and TV hits like The Simpsons.