Roughly a month ago we found out that there were talks between 21st Century Fox and Disney, which would see the latter acquiring nearly everything of the former except for its news, sports and broadcast networks. This is huge talks since we’ve seen the rise of AT&T attempting to acquire Time Warner, which (if successful) on both ends would be a colossal shift to the media outlet landscape.
Though, talks on the two acquisitions had come to a screeching halt for both. For Time Warner/AT&T being that the Department of Justice filed suit to block the merger, while 21st Century Fox/Disney talks were reported to have stalled.
Though, we’re now seeing that it’s being reported by David Faber of CNBC that 21st Century Fox and Disney are closing in on a deal, which is expected to be announced at some point next week,
Disney has held talks with the Rupert Murdoch-controlled media company to acquire its studio and television production assets, leaving Fox with its news and sports assets.
[Again] I stress how this would be huge if there’s follow through, and its successful– though, I don’t think it will be. As we’ve seen, the Trump Administration‘s DOJ seems hellbent on upholding antitrust laws, and the finest example of this is the Time Warner/AT&T merger blocking.
Faber also reported that the 21st Century Fox/Disney acquisition would be for a $60B+ deal. Of course, it falls short of the Time Warner/AT&T deal ($85.4B), but that appears due to the former not being a full acquisition deal.
It seems only plausible that with the standard being set by blocking said merger, that the DOJ‘s move with 21st Century Fox/Disney would be to follow that standard. Which whether you agree with upholding the antitrust laws (or not) in cases like these, it’s understandable and (at least from where I’m sitting) expected to be done across the board. One thing I preach is, “Consistency is king”, and I believe with the critical perception the Left holds against the Trump Administration, they have to be consistent here.
When it comes to the whispers of motive (from President Trump critics) that float around on the DOJ‘s blocking the Time Warner/AT&T deal due to bias against Time Warner and CNN, I believe– whether I believe said motives or not, that they lend weight to a block of a Disney acquisition of 21st Century Fox. This being because they would need to (if in fact bias) appear as non bias, which the only logical way to do so is to block another merger, and stay consistent, like the one they’ve already filed suit against.
So depending on what happens, I say expect to see similar actions taken against a 21st Century Fox/Disney merger by the DOJ like was taken against Time Warner/AT&T.