Judge approves AT&T's $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner

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

AT&T-Time Warner Merger Gets The Green Light From Federal Court

As predicted, Judge Leon ruled that the government had not proven that the combined company would be bad for consumers or harm competition. Here's what the Associated Press had to say about it in a tweet.

The Department of Justice had sued to block the merger, claiming the combination would reduce competition and innovation in the market for pay television.

In any case, arguably the biggest victor of Tuesday's court case was a man who was not directly involved.

A rejection might have chilled possible multibillion-dollar deals involving other media companies. Specifically, on future deals of this type. But some outside of government are anxious about what it could mean for competition.

But on Tuesday, Judge Richard Leon threw out the justice department's objections to AT&T's takeover of Time Warner. AT&T will now control a media group whose assets include HBO and CNN, though the DoJ could seek an emergency appeal of the ruling. (Google's Alphabet, Inc is bigger, but it focuses heavily on the tech space.) And in addition to pitting two entertainment giants against each other, a bidding war would set up a square-off between Iger and Roberts, who have a tense history dating back to a failed hostile takeover bid of Disney in 2004.

Californians to vote on splitting state three ways
The northern part of the state (including San Francisco and current state capitol Sacramento ) would become Northern California . The third state, California , would cover six counties in the coastal area stretching between Monterey and Los Angeles.

The decision is expected to encourage other media industry mergers.

Fox will spin off the Fox Broadcasting network and local stations, Fox News, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network into a new company, called New Fox. For Disney, a successful Comcast bid could make Disney's planned streaming service less attractive, without the Fox video. Disney has deep pockets, so if they wanted to they can increase the offer to meet Comcast's, but there is the matter of all-cash versus stock, something that 21st Century Fox will have to weigh. However, Comcast reportedly refused to sweeten the pot with a fee that would go to Fox should federal regulators reject the deal.

For its part, Comcast wants content that can help it beef up its own digital offering - possibly via Hulu, in which it would own a majority stake if it won Fox. However, now that the AT&T deal has been approved by a federal judge, there is precedent for such a deal and Comcast believes it won't be blocked. And because Comcast has less of a presence outside the U.S., the company expects it can get worldwide clearance easily. That would cover the Fox movie and TV studios, plus its share of Hulu, the FX cable networks and about $13 billion in debt, and is separate from Comcast's competing bid (against Fox) to acquire United Kingdom pay-TV giant Sky.

This could lead to a dramatic reshaping of the media landscape. And Leon's decision is likely to trigger a wave of new mergers, as many executives were waiting to for the outcome of AT&T's bid before pushing forward with their desired deals.

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