Now that the U.S. District Court in Washington has cleared the way for AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, rejecting the Justice Department’s objection to the merger, other other consolidation moves are expected, the AP reports.
“Tuesday’s ruling signaled that federal regulators might have a hard time stopping companies from getting bigger by gobbling up rivals and the content they own. Even if a company doesn’t need to get bigger right away, it might need to do so to prevent a competitor from doing so,” the AP reports. “For starters, expect Comcast to make a bid for Fox’s entertainment business as early as Wednesday.”
The Comcast bid will compete with a bid from Disney, which has already made a $52.4 billion all-stock offer for the bulk of Twenty-First Century Fox, including the studios behind the “Avatar” movies, “The Simpsons” and “Modern Family,” along with National Geographic, the report notes, adding: “Marvel would get back the characters previously licensed to Fox, reuniting X-Men with the Avengers.”
“But Comcast has said it is preparing an all-cash offer that is superior to Disney’s,” the AP notes.
Other mergers are either already in the works or considered likely in the wake of the AT&T-Time Warner decision. A merger of Sprint and T-Mobile, combining the country’s third-largest and fourth-largest wireless companies, has been in the works since it was announced in April.
A potential reunion of CBS and Viacom has also been the focus of corporate maneuvering, with CBS resisting pressure from controlling shareholder National Amusements to combine the two companies.
“Verizon, which bought AOL and Yahoo in recent years, could be on the prowl for other entertainment properties,” the AP notes, adding: “Rumors have long swirled that Lionsgate might be a potential takeover target by anyone from Amazon to Verizon or even a combined CBS-Viacom entity.”