Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Judge: Gov't evidence "too thin" in AT&T case

Judge: Gov't evidence

Last December, Fox rejected an initial offering from Comcast and chose to pursue Disney's more paltry plea, as it was assumed to have been a safer bet.

After all, Disney is big, but Disney is mostly an entertainment conglomerate, whereas Comcast is an industry that provides services to consumers.

It became possible when Rupert Murdoch, 87, and his son chose to slim down the media empire, leaving them with a "New Fox" that includes the Fox News Channel, the Fox broadcast network and sports cable operations.

Unfortunately for the MCU fandom, the $52.4 billion deal offered by the Mouse House to purchase a majority of assets owned by Fox - including Deadpool, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men - "is in more jeopardy than some may believe".

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A USA district court judge has cleared the merger of telecoms giant AT&T and media firm Time Warner, in a major defeat for government regulators.

Roberts said the all-cash bid was almost 20 percent richer than the $52 billion stock offer from Disney, and said Comcast would match the Disney offer of a $2.5 billion fee if the deal failed to win regulatory approval. 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. As predicted, Judge Leon ruled that the government had not proven that the combined company would be bad for consumers or harm competition.

Comcast Corp offered $65 billion on Wednesday to lure Twenty-First Century Fox Inc away from a merger with Walt Disney Co, launching the first salvo with its 20 percent higher offer and setting up a bidding war between two of the largest USA media companies. 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.

AT&T said the acquisition would give it access to content and advertising heft that would help it compete with online streaming firms, which have led to declines in pay-TV subscribers.

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Comcast reportedly held off until the federal court had issued its ruling, but is now expected to bid as much as $60 billion for the Fox assets.

Comcast has officially made a $65 billion all-cash offer for 21st Century Fox's key assets.

The ruling potentially closes a deal that was originally announced in October 2016.

Should the board decide Comcast has the better deal, Disney would have five days to come up with a counter. The government anxious that AT&T, as DirecTV's owner, could charge Comcast and other rival distributors higher prices for Time Warner channels like CNN or HBO. T-Mobile also has a deal to buy Sprint.

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Older media companies are racing to achieve unprecedented size and scope to fend off what they see as threats from the likes of Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon.

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