Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Comcast challenges Disney with $65 billion bid for Fox

Comcast challenges Disney with $65 billion bid for Fox

That was before U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled in AT&T's favor and rejected the government's argument that its takeover of Time Warner would hurt competition in pay TV and cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars more to stream TV and movies. The Department of Justice, with the support of President Donald Trump, opposed the merger, arguing that the combined companies would be too powerful and reduce competition.

Roberts reportedly expressed disappointment in Fox's decision to move forward with a deal between Disney over Comcast's first all-cash offer and opted to offer a better deal following the approval of the At&T-Time Warner merger. Before the trial started, Leon declined AT&T's motion to pursue a line of defense that would have allowed it to conduct discover on communications between the White House and the DOJ.

But regardless of that outcome the decision is being seen as a green light for other big deals, which have been sitting in the wings waiting for the ruling.

AT&T General Counsel David McAtee now expects its purchase of Time Warner to close by June 20. The assets at stake include the Fox film studio (which owns the Avatar franchise, the film rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four and the original Star Wars), its TV studio, its cable networks and its stake in Hulu.

The deal was hatched in August 2016 when Randall Stephenson, the chief executive of AT&T, called Jeff Bewkes, his counterpart at Time Warner. The sources claim that Comcast is preparing an all-cash bid for Fox's assets, one that will allegedly be officially revealed some time tomorrow.

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Brazil , who will be looking to win their sixth World Cup , are in Group E with Switzerland , Costa Rica and Serbia. It's not bad for me that my players can go on holiday, ' the Red Devils boss said.

On the most direct impact, shares of AT&T t , which were already up 6% over the past week, gave up some of that gain during after-hours trading and declined 2%. Time Warner's assets will help the telecommunications company keep up. It is also being reported by Variety that AT&T Watch will be offered to AT&T Wireless customers for free. The Justice Department contended that the deal - which brings cable companies including CNN and HBO into AT&T's fold - would enable the telecom to harm competitors - including online distributors - by withholding (or demanding excessive fees) for popular channels.

"This ruling, coupled with the government's abdication of open Internet protections yesterday, means the future of the Internet and content distribution is in the hands of a few, increasingly consolidated and powerful corporate gatekeepers", the Writer's Guild of America West told The Register.

While the motive behind the challenge to AT&T's deal may never be known, Blair said politicizing the process would be "extremely unsafe for the country".

Many antitrust experts were surprised by the Justice Department's suit.

- CNN's Brian Stelter contributed reporting.

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