Disney clears DOJ antitrust hurdles for 21st Century Fox takeover

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in General Discussion
Vying against Comcast, Disney has passed a critical obstacle in its push to acquire 21st Century Fox: antitrust approval from the U.S. Justice Department, contingent on divesting itself of some of Fox's assets should a deal go through.

Deadpool


Specifically Disney will have to shed itself of Fox's various regional sports networks, since the former's ownership of ESPN would give it overwhelming control of U.S. sports broadcasting, Variety reported.

"American consumers have benefitted from head-to-head competition between Disney and Fox's cable sports programming that ultimately has prevented cable television subscription prices from rising even higher," said Makan Delrahim, head of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division. "Today's settlement will ensure that sports programming competition is preserved in the local markets where Disney and Fox compete for cable and satellite distribution."

Last week Disney raised its bid for 21st Century Fox to $71.3 billion in cash and stocks, looking to beat out Comcast, which previously tendered an all-cash bid of $65 billion. Justice Department approval should help make a case to Fox shareholders and board members, though Comcast is likely to propose an even higher bid that the Fox board will be obligated to consider.

Any Disney deal would leave out some signature divisions, namely Fox Broadcasting, Fox News, and Fox Sports.

21st Century Fox, for its part, is thought to favor Disney over Comcast precisely because of antitrust concerns. Comcast already owns NBC and Universal properties, and putting Fox under that wing would likely engender even stiffer opposition than the $85 billion merger of AT&T and Time Warner. Comcast could be forced to divest more assets than Disney is preparing to, forcing a lower bid.

Apple and Disney have long had close ties. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was once in charge of Pixar, which after Disney's takeover made Jobs Disney's biggest individual shareholder. Disney CEO Bob Iger is a member of Apple's board of directors, and Apple regularly promotes Disney media on iTunes and the App Store.

Disney access to Fox assets could nevertheless make things tougher for Apple in 2019. The former is planning on launching its own streaming service, which could end up going toe-to-toe with Apple's $1 billion video slate, expected to premiere sometime next year and possibly as soon as March.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    First order of business... Release a 4K fully restored GOUT, please. Thank you.
    edited June 2018
  • Reply 2 of 10
    Rather Apple invested in and bought Fox for their content then give us Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,398member
    chris.com said:
    First order of business... Release a 4K fully restored GOUT, please. Thank you.
    This has nothing to do with the acquisition of Fox because it's a Disney/Marvel Studios film.  

    Why does it have to be restored?   It's a four-year old digitally shot film.   There's nothing to restore.   And it was shot in 2.8K and the DI was 2K, so it's not going to look all that much better in UHD, although UHD would theoretically permit a Dolby Atmos sound mix and HDR.    "Volume 2" was released in 4K last Summer, so it's probably inevitable that the first film will eventually get the same treatment. 



  • Reply 4 of 10
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,398member

    Rather Apple invested in and bought Fox for their content then give us Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke.
    If you look at the last five years of Fox releases, while there are some hits and also a few decent films,  I question whether the library is worth $71 billion especially when living in an age when those most likely to stream don't really care about anything but recent films.   Although the acquisition is more than just the theatrical. titles, Disney is paying the equivalent of $34 million per film, going back to the 1930's.   Most of the films older than 30 years have virtually no value.   The acquisition might make sense from the standpoint of Disney getting a greater share of the future theatrical box-office as well as future streaming revenues because they'll have a dominant share of the market. 

    2015Taken 3, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Poltergeist, Fantastic Four, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, The Martian, Bridge of Spies, Victor Frankenstein, Joy, The Revenant
    2016Kung Fu Panda 3, Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse, Independence Day: Resurgence, Ice Age: Collision Course, Hidden Figures
    2017Logan, The Boss Baby, Alien: Covenant, War for the Planet of the Apes, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Murder on the Orient Express, The Greatest Showman, The Post
    2018Maze Runner: The Death Cure*, Red Sparrow*, Love, Simon; Deadpool 2*, The Darkest Minds*, The Predator*, Bad Times at the El Royale, Bohemian Rhapsody*, Widows (d), Alita: Battle Angel*, Underwater*
    2019Ad Astra*, Dark Phonenix*, The Kid Who Would Be King*, The Force*, Spies in Disguise, Gambit*, The New Mutants*, Untitled Terminator (id), The Call of the Wild, Stuber


    The titles with an asterisk are either distribution deals or co-pros and "(id)" means international distribution rights and they may not even be part of the acquisition.   

    For all practical purposes, we're going to be down to four studios:  Sony (Columbia, Tri-Star), Disney (Fox, Disney, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar, Muppets), Comcast (Universal) and AT&T (Warner Bros.) 






  • Reply 5 of 10
    AppleishAppleish Posts: 88member
    F ck Comcast. Sincerely, a Philadelphia resident.
  • Reply 6 of 10

    Looks like Disney is hell-bent on acquiring every franchise ever.

    This seems to really excite Marvel fans since we'll soon get X-Men: Homecoming, Fantastic Four: Homecoming, etc.

    This also sorts out the Star Wars distribution as Disney now has full control of that franchise.


    As much trouble as WB is having with the DCEU flicks, I hope to God they don't go to Disney.

  • Reply 7 of 10
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,343member
    Rather Apple invested in and bought Fox for their content then give us Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke.
    “Then” or “than”.
    Then = as well as...
    Than = instead of...
    It takes seconds to proofread what you have written, or to learn the difference.

  • Reply 8 of 10
    fred1fred1 Posts: 285member
    The 1980s called. They want to know how the 2010s are getting away with ignoring antitrust laws more than they did.  
  • Reply 9 of 10
    I see monopoly wars in the near future between the monopoly giants like Disney, Comcast and AT&T and their over paying customers!
  • Reply 10 of 10
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,725member
    I see monopoly wars in the near future between the monopoly giants like Disney, Comcast and AT&T and their over paying customers!
    How could any company possibly have a monopoly on entertainment product? Entertainment qualifies as a luxury item. That there is so much money attached to these sales and mergers is a testament to the stratospheric wealth in the US and in the emerging markets outside the US.

    And by the way, if any of these companies were actual monopolies, there would be no “war” for dominance because they would be legally protected from competition by government.
    edited June 2018
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