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

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

Comcast was "disappointed when [21st Century Fox] chose to enter into a transaction with The Walt Disney Company, even though we had offered a meaningfully higher price", Roberts wrote.

Disney made a $US52.4 billion all-stock bid for Fox, which was accepted in December. "This is even higher than the Street thought, which speaks to Comcast really wanting these key assets".

But after this latest development, it might not come to pass as Comcast has put together an impressive offer. That could lead to higher cable bills or make it more hard for online alternatives to emerge, though there is not yet evidence of either happening following other mergers. For example, Comcast is reportedly eager to gobble up some of 21st Century Fox's assets. The ruling comes one day after the repeal of net neutrality, meaning that AT&T now has more freedom to prioritize the delivery of select content on its network.

Things just got slightly more complicated in the ongoing saga of 21st Century Fox.

With Fox, Comcast would expand a portfolio that already includes USA television rights to the Olympics and comedy offerings such as Saturday Night Live. Both are also interested in expanding internationally at a time when the US television business is slowing.

NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke noted the upside of Fox's global presence, which would boost Comcast's worldwide revenue from 9% of the whole to 27%.

United Kingdom regulators have given the go ahead for that offer if Fox sells Sky News. It's unclear at the present time if Fox will stick with the Disney deal or start a potential bidding war.

FOX Business Network senior correspondent Charles Gasparino was first to report that Comcast was planning to announce its bid after market close.

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Comcast, which already owns NBCUniversal, is the US's largest cable company and is likely to face regulatory scrutiny should Fox consider its bid. "The question is will Disney's board and management will go to the mat on this transaction".

AT&T Inc won approval from a U.S. court on Tuesday to buy Time Warner Inc for $85 billion, without conditions, allowing AT&T to compete with internet companies that dominate digital advertising and providing new sources of revenue.

AT&T is known to most Americans as a cell phone service provider while Time Warner owns giant media brands such as the HBO movie channel, the Warner Brothers movie studio and CNN.

In turn, that could drive up what consumers pay.

Initially AT&T and Time Warner planned to use a "selective enforcement" defense, alleging that the administration was blocking the deal because of Trump's dislike of CNN.

Disney wouldn't face the same issues because it isn't a television distributor as the way Comcast and AT&T are.

Last year, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), the top Democrat on a Senate antitrust subcommittee, wrote a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions raising concerns about political interference from the White House in the merger review. More competition, he added, could keep costs down. Comcast and Walt Disney dropped 4.3 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. The merged companies could withhold programming from competitors, pressuring consumers to switch to AT&T services. Comcast bid for Sky in April, after Fox's bid for the remainder of European pay-TV group it did not already own was delayed by regulators.

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