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Media conglomerates and mergers


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#121
Phantom Roxas

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Couldn't that be solved by a joint bid from Disney and Fox, so Disney has some skin in the game?

 

Probably not. I don't believe that a sale of Sky News to Disney has been formalized at all; merely stated to be an acceptable condition for Fox's purchase of Sky, though such a sale could tie in with what you're suggesting. The potential for Disney to get involved has come up, though mostly as backing Fox in some fashion.

 

Regardless of the Sky News sale, I believe a joint bid is not possible. For example, before Comcast backed down from Fox, one solution that was suggested was that Disney and Comcast could split the Fox assets for sale. Bob Iger said that he could not do that because of the laws in place, and it would be considered a violation of his current deal with Fox. He would not altering the initial deal with Fox, but rather creating a second, contradictory deal. The agreement to divest Fox's RSNs - where Comcast was apparently seeking buyers - is a condition imposed on the initial deal.

 

The specific condition is that Disney must buy Sky directly only if they finish acquiring Fox before Fox acquires Sky. Disney is not under any obligation to buy Sky yet, but if Disney buys Fox first, then Disney would have to continue where Fox left off, and continue the bid for Sky. So a joint bid is not necessary at this time, but if they were to pursue one, it would be considered a separate bid from Fox's current bid for Sky.

 

Essentially, here's the breakdown of all the deals at the moment, considering Comcast is likely to give up on Fox:

- If Disney buys Fox, Fox must divest its regional sports networks to third parties.

- If Disney buys Fox before Fox buys Sky, then Disney must buy Sky in Fox's stead.

- If Fox buys Sky, they must divest Sky News to Disney.

- If Comcast buys Sky, there will be no conditions. The sale of Sky News is purely designed to separate Sky News from Fox, so there is no concern about Comcast acquiring Sky News.


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#122
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https://www.bloomber...its-bid-for-sky
 
Seems like we are moving towards the scenario where Disney gets Fox while Comcast gets Sky. Disney submitted a filing saying "Fox may elect not to increase the price offered by it in the Sky acquisition and any increase in the debt financing for the Sky acquisition would require Disney’s consent, which Disney may elect not to provide.”

 

That language highlights the risk here. A higher bid primarily means more debt, and according to Disney's estimates, they would barely get a 7% return rate on Sky with this deal by 2028. Given that the condition for Fox acquiring Sky is selling Sky News, which Disney would have to fund for fifteen years and cannot sell without regulatory consent, Sky would become far too much of a money sink for Disney to be worth it in the long run.

 

Fox votes on Disney in ten days. I have to wonder if Disney restricting Fox from purchasing Sky could put a damper on the vote.


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#123
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https://variety.com/...out-1202878103/

 

It's only been rumored, but now it's official: Comcast has dropped out of the bidding war for Fox so they can focus on acquiring Sky.

 

https://www.bloomber...fox-disney-vote

 

Next Friday is looking to be a big day. Aside from Fox's shareholders voting to move forward with the Disney deal, U.K. officials will determine the value of Sky for a minimum bid from Comcast and Fox. Given Disney's reticence in allowing Fox to continue bidding for Sky, this is more likely to be what Comcast was preparing for, and why they needed to drop their bid, while Fox may have to give up Sky.


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#124
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https://www.forbes.c...t/#4f7f901865a1

 

There are two more days until Fox votes on the Disney deal. Given the speculation over whether or not Disney may gave up, I think this offers some interesting analysis. I've seen a theory that Comcast wasn't looking to win Fox, and just force Disney to bid high enough for Fox to discourage Disney from pursuing Sky as well. The bidding war for Sky will probably wait until after the vote, though apparently Brian Roberts is willing to buy a majority stake and share ownership with Disney. So this could end with a joint ownership of Sky, but we'll have to wait and see.


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#125
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https://www.nytimes....erger-vote.html

 

In a rather short meeting, Disney and Fox's shareholders have approved of the merger.

 

https://www.hollywoo...-brazil-1130263

 

Disney has also filed for regulatory approval in Brazil. While the deal is moving forward, they still need antitrust reviews. At the very least, this seems to lock out another bidding war for Fox that Comcast tried. I'll keep focusing on whatever happens with the Disney/Fox deal, and we also have the Sky bidding war to watch out for.


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#126
Nathanael D. Striker

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https://arstechnica....r-cable-merger/

New York revoked its approval of Charter's merger with Time Warner Cable after Charter apparently failed to live up to an agreement to secure New York's approval in 2016. It would only affect the merger within New York, but this should be interesting nonetheless.

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#127
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I have to wonder if this would only be a problem in New York, or if we might see similar changes across other states. Being kicked out of New York is bound to be damaging. Since they have 60 days, I guess we'll have to see who they have to sell to.


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#128
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https://www.theguard...-thwart-comcast

 

It was already mandated that Fox and Comcast each have to offer at least 14 pounds per share for Sky, and while Comcast now has the advantage, UK takeover rules mandate that Fox must make a higher bid by Thursday.


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#129
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https://deadline.com...eth-1202441941/

 

AT&T just finished acquiring all of Otter Media, which will now be folded into WarnerMedia. Given that AT&T just got Time Warner two months ago, I'm concerned about how Otter Media is ending up lower on the totem pole. From a business perspective, Otter Media is a perfect fit to be integrated into WarnerMedia, but after the change from Time Warner to WarnerMedia as a part of AT&T, it's frustrating to then see WarnerMedia in turn become what new acquisitions will be folded into.

 

https://variety.com/...ons-1202890542/

 

This story is one I'm not entirely comfortable using for the purposes of this thread. Les Moonves is under pressure due to sexual assault allegations against him, and while that in and of itself is a problem, this is seen as an opportunity for Shari Redstone, who has been trying to oust Les Moonves to assert greater control over CBS, and in turn merge it with Viacom.


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#130
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https://www.bloomber...ate-disney-deal

Fox has extended the deadline to reach a deal for Sky. While they haven't raised their bid, they now have until September 22 to do so. They only need to persuade 50% of Sky shareholders to approve of the takeover, but since Fox already owns a 39% stake anyway, they really only need to convince 11%. If an agreement isn't reached, the UK takeover panel can initiate a formal auction for Sky.

 

Bob Iger reiterated his interest in acquiring Sky, so it's unlikely that Disney is going to be walking away from this situation. There's still speculation that Disney/Fox and Comcast could split up Sky, but given how there was similar speculation for splitting up Fox, and that never came to pass, we'll probably see this be either all or nothing.


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#131
Nathanael D. Striker

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https://www.washingt...m=.e4b6ac935f81

Looks like the Tribune/Sinclair merger is void. This should be interesting, especially as it prevents Sinclair from expanding.
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#132
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https://www.reuters....l-idUSKCN1L512A

 

T-Mobile is running a PR ploy, persuading smaller carriers who use their network to publicly support the Sprint/T-Mobile merger, as well as offering talking points to use in interviews. This is… pretty skeevy, but ultimately I don't see anything that could be held against them for regulatory approval.

 

https://www.cnbc.com...-its-stake.html

 

Hulu is estimated at losing $1.5B a year. While Hulu does not report numbers themselves, Comcast, Fox, and Disney each attributed losses to Hulu. This is especially important to keep track of because Disney is set to double their stake once they acquire Fox, and the best reason to keep Hulu around is mostly because there's already an established subscriber base, rather than trying to build one from the ground up.


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#133
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http://www2.philly.c...x-20180823.html

Only 0.21% of Sky stakeholders has accepted Comcast takeover offer. Comcast has set a new deadline for September 12, ten days before Fox's own deadline to raise their own bid for Sky. The low acceptance is likely due to anticipation for Fox's increased bid.

 

Doesn't seem like there's been any updates on federal approval for the Disney/Fox deal, but at the very least, next month should mark the end of the bidding war with Comcast.


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#134
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https://deadline.com...bcu-1202455013/

 

The DOJ has maintained that they'll be keeping an eye on Comcast's handling of programming and distribution, even though the consent decree over the NBCUniversal acquisition has expired.

 

https://deadline.com...ves-1202457668/

 

Looks like CBS's lawsuit against National Amusements will reach a settlement, mostly because CBS is not in a good position to mount a legal battle when there's already sexual harassment allegations against Les Moonves, who may be offered a $100M severance package to oust him from the company.


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#135
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Alright, this is going to be a bit difficult for me to mention, mostly because only part of it relates to this thread.

 

https://www.reuters....t-idUSKCN1LP0W8

 

This article best shows how two pieces of news have been announced.

 

1. Les Moonves is "resigning" from CBS following further sexual assault allegations.

2. CBS has reached a settlement in their suit against Shari Redstone.

 

I know this is not meant to a thread to discuss #MeToo, so I'll be brief and say that while Les Moonves does seem to have been forced out over the allegations, it seems that those concerns are really secondary to what CBS is more focused on. The hostility between Redstone and Moonves is something I've focused on throughout this thread, since he was the primary obstacle between the suspected plan for Shari Redstone to reunite CBS and Viacom, with the possibility of selling the merged company. With Moonves gone, I believe that merger scenario is more likely now.


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