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Media conglomerates and mergers


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#141
Phantom Roxas

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Fox has a lower burden to meet, though a Sky/Hulu trade does sound viable. Fox's decision on Sky seems to rest entirely on Disney, however, so it'll likely come down to whether Disney is willing to make that trade.


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#142
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https://variety.com/...ket-1202956344/

 

Comcast has bought up over 30% of Sky. While they still have to acquire more shares - before even getting into the matter of whether or not they can get Disney/Fox's 39% stake - this does give Comcast a significant lead towards that.


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#143
Nathanael D. Striker

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So after doing a little digging, Disney/Fox may ask for more than just Comcast's 30% in Hulu for Fox's 39% in Sky, given the value of the respective shares ($8.7 billion as of April for Hulu and Comcast's evaluation of $38.8 billion for Sky [total worth of both companies]). So, a direct Sky for Hulu trade doesn't work financially. I imagine Fox will ask for Hulu and the rest in cash.

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#144
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That makes sense. Hulu has less value than Sky (Especially when Hulu has been the source of losses for all its owners), so a simple 1:1 trade would benefit Comcast far too much, and Disney and Fox would get the short end of the deal. Cash would probably be best to make to make up the difference, since Disney does need to cover all their expenses in this bidding war.

 

However, Comcast stands to owe $100B in debt, regardless of whether they obtain Fox's Sky stake.


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#145
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So, the story becomes Disney fucked Comcast. Disney may not get Sky, but they may just end up with 90% of Hulu, which could be leveraged into their own service, and get cash back after selling Fox's stake. So, Disney wins. XD

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#146
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https://www.business...t-Century-Fox’s

 

It seems that Comcast will get Sky after all, with Disney/Fox agreeing to sell their stake for $15B. Hulu isn't a factor here - only getting mentioned as far Disney simply seeking increase investment in Hulu's offerings - but this does accomplish what I expected about Disney trying to reduce their debt in acquiring Fox. Whether Disney gets 90% of Hulu remains to be seen, but I believe that may be too complicated at the moment. Selling the Sky stake does enough to reduce their debt, but if they tried to purchase Comcast's Hulu stake, that may only add more to their debt.

 

Either way, Disney did manage to fuck over Comcast. While Comcast may have pushed Disney to overpay for Fox, Comcast in turn had to overpay for Sky, and pay Disney to get the Sky stake, which covers the difference between Disney and Comcast's final bids for Fox by twice the amount. Basically, Disney managed to minimize their expenses as best they could, while Comcast has only pushed themselves deeper into debt.


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#147
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https://www.zerohedg...first-amendment

 

 

Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck, No. 17-702, the case that it has agreed to take, will decide if the private operator of a public access network is considered a state actor, CNBC reported.
 
The case could affect how companies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google and YouTube are governed. If the Court were to issue a far-reaching ruling it could subject such companies to First Amendment lawsuits and force them to allow a much broader scope of free speech from its users.
 
The Court decided to take the case on Friday and it is the first case that was taken after Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the Court.
 
DeeDee Halleck and Jesus Melendez claimed that they were fired from Manhattan Neighborhood Network for speaking critically of the network. And, though the case does not involve the Internet giants, it could create a ruling that expands the First Amendment beyond the government.
 
“We stand at a moment when the very issue at the heart of this case — the interplay between private entities, nontraditional media, and the First Amendment — has been playing out in the courts, in other branches of government, and in the media itself,” the attorneys from MNN wrote in their letter to the Court asking it to take the case.
 
The Court could either rule in MNN’s favor, rule against it in a narrow scope that does not affect other companies, or it could rule in a broad manner that would prevent the abilities of private networks and Internet companies to limit or censor speech on their platforms.
 
Seemed somewhat relevant if this is the media thread

If they go for the aggressive ruling, NN is also enshrined technically. Cuz if firms can't snuff speech, doesn't hold why ISPs can. Especially when money has been ruled to be a form of speech


https://www.cnbc.com...ate-speech.html


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#148
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Seemed somewhat relevant if this is the media thread

From what I can tell this is specifically about mergers, not general media, so it might be good to make it its own thread


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#149
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https://www.reuters....l-idUSKCN1MJ1XO

 

Wanted to wait a bit longer before updating on Comcast purchasing Sky, but they've acquired Fox's previous stake, and now control at least 75% of Sky. With Comcast as a majority owner, Sky is expected to delist from the stock exchange by November 7.

 

https://nypost.com/2...-viacom-merger/

 

No real surprise on this one, but with Les Moonves gone from CBS, there's further speculation that a CBS/Viacom reunion will be more likely, especially with new board members that have little to not incentive of upholding Moonves' vision for the company, and were likely elected by National Amusements.

 

https://www.tmonews....-sprint-merger/

 

Sprint and T-Mobile are still trying to persuade the FCC to approve the merger. Generally they're still trying to cite the development of 5G as incentive to approve their merger.

 

https://www.forbes.c...d/#158cce953d03

 

Disney has reached some unspecified concessions with the European Commission regarding antitrust concerns, allowing an extension until November 11 for further review of the deal.

 

https://www.hollywoo...ox-deal-1152832

 

However, the Disney/Fox merger may race opposition in China, as Chinese antitrust law may be excessively strict on the merger due to its heavy U.S. ties.

 

I shall note that, although that article does refer to the possibility that this is retaliation against Trump's tariffs, I do not want to discuss the tariffs, or whether this is an appropriate response to those tariffs. Focus on the mergers themselves, not about tariffs.


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#150
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https://www.fiercevi...e-warner-merger

 

Finally some progress on the AT&T/WarnerMedia merger appeal. HBO recently suffered a blackout on Dish TV, with both AT&T and Dish accusing each other of being responsible. On the one hand, this could prove the argument that AT&T would withhold their networks from distributors, a concern that was raised during the initial trial. However, Dish apparently does have a history of blacking out channels to negotiate in bad faith. Either one of them could be responsible, but with oral arguments in the appeal set to begin on Dec. 6, this is not a good look for AT&T going into that.


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#151
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https://www.cnbc.com...ivestments.html

 

The European Commission has approved Disney's acquisition of Fox, pending the divestment of Disney's interests in Europe's A&E channels.


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#152
Phantom Roxas

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This is entirely speculation, but one of the possible outcomes of the appeal against AT&T is that WarnerMedia may have to divest their Turner assets. This was one of the structural remedies the DOJ initially proposed, and that seems to be something they're still pursuing if the appeal is successful.

 

It's important to note that it's specifically Turner that owns the remaining 10% ownership of Hulu. While it's a minority stake, I could very well see Comcast and Disney trying to obtain that stake. Turner also owns the broadcast rights to Star Wars, and Disney would love nothing more than to get those back. It's a long shot, but I would not put it past Disney to try to acquire Turner if AT&T is forced to divest it.


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#153
Nathanael D. Striker

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When you put it like that, Disney acquiring Turner makes sense to me.

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#154
Phantom Roxas

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I should probably add that Disney likely would not be able to acquire Turner as a whole. The best way to look at it is how the Disney/Fox and AT&T/Time Warner mergers contrasted. The DOJ wanted AT&T to divest Turner, and was more willing to approve the Disney/Fox merger because they saw the divestiture of certain Fox assets as the sort of remedy that AT&T and Time Warner should have been willing to agree to.

 

The best example is that just as Fox is having to spin Fox News off as a part of "New Fox", Turner would likely have to divest CNN and similar assets. So a possible Disney/Turner merger might require Turner to be split up, with assets that would grant Disney the Hulu stake and the Star Wars rights, while the rest would be the remainder of Turner. Though I believe that would mean Disney would be getting relatively less of what they're getting from Fox.


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#155
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https://www.cnbc.com...mpanies-up.html

 

China has unconditionally approved the Disney/Fox merger. Other countries still need to approve it, but this does cover one of the last major hurdles, so the merger is expected to close early in spring.


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#156
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https://nypost.com/2...-away-insiders/

 

A CBS-Viacom reunion is looking more likely for next year, and could also have Take-Two thrown into the mix.


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#157
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https://www.reuters....9-idUSKCN1NY2Q1

https://qz.com/14808...y-more-control/

 

Hulu is really the asset that ties a lot of these mergers together. AT&T is $180B in debt, and they're looking to pay off $20B of that debt next year by selling some non-essential assets. As I said, Disney would desperately want that Hulu stake, and it seems that AT&T would be all too happy to get rid of it.

 

Seems like the same situation Comcast is in, where they will likewise have to sell their Hulu stake to pay off some debt after the Sky deal. Disney has already worked to pay off some of their debt for Fox by selling the Sky stake to Comcast, so Disney should have more than enough capital to bail out AT&T and Comcast.


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#158
Phantom Roxas

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https://www.bloomber...-we-told-you-so

 

The appeal against the AT&T/Warner merger begins tomorrow. Fairly excited for this, especially since Richard Leon's argument was that he would need a crystal ball to predict what could happen. Now we know for a fact what happened, so it's time to punish AT&T for it.


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#159
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https://variety.com/...019-1203087313/

https://variety.com/...ple-1203087959/

https://www.vulture....-for-apple.html

 

There's a few weird stories here. First, Variety predicts that Apple will buy Sony. I've brought this up before, and while it is just a prediction, there seems to be some basis for this, with both Tamara Hunter and Justin Lin moving from Sony to Apple. It may just be a coincidence, but all of the pieces seem too convenient to believe it's just that. I could see Apple hiring some of these personnel so that Sony Pictures would be gradually eased into Apple.


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