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Here’s why the AT&T-Time Warner merger just got approved

15 June 2018

Comcast made good on its plans to make an offer for 21st Century Fox's film and TV assets today, with a cash bid of $65 billion, or $35 per share.

Roberts said Comcast's board of directors had unanimously approved the offer, meaning the deal doesn't have to be run by shareholders, where dissonance toward the company's M&A activities is running high.

It said it remains subject to the terms of its deal with Disney, a stock transaction valued at $52.4bn, or more than $66bn including debt, when it was announced in December.

Dennis Rodman flying to Singapore for Kim-Trump summit
Mr Kim has the "opportunity" to make a deal with the US, Mr Trump said on Saturday, but he "won't have that opportunity again". Earlier on Sunday evening, Trump arrived at Singapore's Paya Lebar Air Base and is now staying at the Shangri-La Hotel.

"The rest" is most notably FX Networks, National Geographic, a 30-percent stake in Hulu, and the 20th Century Fox film and television production studios, which include those coveted movie rights. For those employees potentially moving to Disney, Rice expected the switch to be seamless, but those that stay will be in for an "exciting time" as the slimmed-down new Fox will be a "focused, nimble and well capitalized company set up for the future". "Comcast executives had awaited the decision in that case" NYT reports, "before mounting their bid for 21st Century Fox".

We have long admired what the Murdoch family has built at Twenty-First Century Fox.

After a federal judge ruled on Tuesday that AT&T could buy Time Warner, investors poured into some stocks while unloading others. Disney also is interested in owning Sky. Reuters reported last November that both Comcast and Verizon Communications Inc had expressed interest in buying Fox's assets. "This is a golden offer that will put considerable pressure on (Disney CEO Bob) Iger and Disney to step up their game on another bid", GBH Insights analyst Dan Ives said. Disney wouldn't face the same issues because it isn't a television distributor as the way Comcast and AT&T are.

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The actual text of the document was visible in a picture from the signing, after Trump held it up to show their signatures. Adding to the unreality of the meeting, the Capella Hotel venue is only a stone's throw from the Universal theme park.

Shares of Comcast, Fox and Disney were barely changed in after-hours trade.

Disney itself has "surgically" structured a transaction that "might be doable", avoiding Fox Broadcasting and big Fox sports channels, US antitrust chief Makan Delrahim said last week. Some suspected, however, that the real motivation behind the DOJ's case may be personal and political agenda of Donald Trump himself: He sees CNN as his political nemesis, and CNN is owned by Time Warner. Disney and Fox did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Comcast said it is confident it will win regulatory approval and that its new offer "fully addresses" the stated concerns. Despite Comcast's higher offer, it's not immediately clear whether Fox's board would entertain it.

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He also said the US had a trade deficit of $17 billion with Canada, though he implied that it might be as large as $100 billion. John McCain, who is often aligned with Graham, pushed back Saturday against Trump's refusal to sign the G-7 statement .

Here’s why the AT&T-Time Warner merger just got approved