The ink isn’t even dry on the judge’s decision rejecting the federal government’s suit to stop the AT&T/Time Warner Deal, and Comcast has already made its move. Yesterday the cable giant officially bid for Twenty-First Century Fox.
Comcast’s bid of $65B is some 20% higher than a rival bid from Disney, although whether Fox decides that it’s high enough to break off its current engagement. The mogul Rupert Murdoch owns 17% of Fox, and would supposedly have a hefty tax bill with the Comcast cash bid, which could dampen his enthusiasm. There is also the possibility that Disney could raise it’s own bid in response. Meanwhile, despite AT&T’s win in court, it’s not clear that a Comcast/Fox deal would easily get a pass from regulators.
The idea behind all this is to combine traditional media production and distribution and use the resulting leverage to better compete against the likes of Netflix and Google. I can understand the underlying theme, but it seems like a much harder plan to implement well than any spreadsheet might indicate. The whole thing will take a long time to play out though, and these bids for Fox will make for an interesting summer at least.
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