The AT&T-Time Warner merger is a go, court rules

Comcast readying new bid for 20th Century Fox film and TV assets

Instead, a rush to consolidate is likely.

As the bell was ringing to mark the end of the trading day today, Comcast unveiled a massive $65 billion all-cash bid to purchase much of 21st Century Fox. Comcast was looking to make a bid for Fox a year ago, but that fell apart amid concerns that the government would block the deal, but the recent AT&T/Time Warner decision has clearly renewed their confidence. Comcast shares fell 3.3 percent, though. On the film side, the Disney deal also boasts potential re-integration of Marvel and Star Wars assets, while a Universal deal boasts no such synergy.

Yesterday, the Department of Justice suffered its first antitrust loss in court since 2004, paving the way for AT&T to merge with Time Warner and opening the floodgates for similar mergers in the near future.

A United States district court judge has cleared the merger of telecoms giant AT&T and media firm Time Warner, in a major defeat for government regulators. Trump later said the merger was "not good for the country", believing it could increase pay-TV prices.

The judge made his remarks to a packed courtroom in an unusual session weeks after the trial ended. He has also discouraged the government agency from pursuing a stay of his decision if it will pursue an appeal.

Actress Rose McGowan indicted on cocaine charge in Virginia
The " Charmed " star believes Weinstein framed her in hopes of stopping her from sharing her allegations against the producer. If convicted, McGowan faces up to a year behind bars, but her attorneys have vowed to fight the charge all the way.

Bottom line: if the Fox-Disney merger is approved, YES Network will be owned by the same company which owns the ESPN empire. If not completed by then, either company could walk away, and AT&T would have to pay a $500 million breakup fee. Should Comcast acquire Fox, they would not only have control of your internet, but also a portion of the content that gets streamed to it. "We are highly confident in our ability to finance the transaction, and our offer includes no financing-related conditions", Comcast said in a letter to Rupert Murdoch and his sons Lachlan and James. AT&T's favorable ruling would seem to clear any regulatory hesitation.

AT&T and Time Warner's lead lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, said outside court that the companies were gratified and relieved.

In the decision (PDF) closing the case, Judge Leon said that the government's arguments against the deal fell flat. We thank the Court for its thorough and timely examination of the evidence, and we compliment our colleagues at the Department of Justice on their dedicated representation of the government. AT&T did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Comcast's official counterbid now pressures Disney to come up with a higher offer for Fox - lest it have compelling entertainment assets slip through its hands at a time when technology giants are storming Hollywood, forcing traditional media companies to bulk up.

In any case, arguably the biggest victor of Tuesday's court case was a man who was not directly involved. "We look forward to closing the merger on or before June 20 so we can begin to give consumers video entertainment that is more affordable, mobile, and innovative".

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