If the Walt Disney Co. reaches a deal to acquire most of the assets of 21st Century Fox, it’s likely that both companies will minimize any antitrust issues, describe how just how necessary the deal is in a fast-changing media universe and point out the many bulked-up new competitors there are in the content universe.
It may all be true, but the Department of Justice’s lawsuit challenging AT&T’s proposed merger with Time Warner has disrupted notions of what will get the green light from antitrust regulators. That’s not to say that a Disney-Fox deal is similar in structure to the AT&T-Time Warner transaction, but there’s a certain hubris now in envisioning any major transaction as a sure thing.
CNBC reported on Tuesday that Disney and Fox are in talks for what “very well may result” in a deal in which Disney buys the film and TV studio, the Fox cable networks, the regional sports networks, the Fox share in Hulu and their ownership of Sky, the European telecom.
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