The merger between telecom giant AT&T and Time Warner has been approved after the United States Justice Department filed suit against the $80 million deal. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the DOJ failed to show sufficient evidence that the merger would cause a lack of competition or lead to the joined company creating an anti-competitive atmosphere in the future.
Of course, any student of history can tell you will that monopoly is exactly where things are headed.
The news is good for watchers of Time Warner and fans of its DC Entertainment. As the trial progressed over the last few months, many analysts began to claim the company would be split into chucks if the merger failed to gain approval. One piece of the company ripe for the taking: DC itself.
Conversely, the ruling suggests Comcast will go forward with its $60 billion offer for the assets 21st Century Fox intended to sell to the Walt Disney Company. Comcast has long been a rival suitor for the 20th Century Fox film company and other Fox media holdings. It even offered a higher cash bid, but Disney won out as it was believed the cable company would have a hard time getting the merger approved in light of the DOJ’s case against AT&T/Time Warner deal.
The DOJ, possibly bolstered by the president’s ill-regard for Time Warner asset CNN’s coverage of him, may yet appeal the ruling; further delaying the close of the merger and setting back any other company’s plans for acquiring media assets. If all goes smoothly, many are already suggesting other telecoms will follow suit and buy media companies of their own.
Maybe Disney will just end up with Verizon in the end.