Sunday, November 19, 2017

BIG FIVE Fox selling to Disney have 40pc of 11bn US market

Another megamerger is cleared in June 2018 and boosts the hopes of NBCU owner to trump Disney's bid for Fox...
AT&T $85.4bn takeover of Time Warner approved by judge in blow to Trump

The story continues! Comcast are launching a new bid, all cash as Murdoch rejected it on the basis of complications with shares (and possible monopoly issues). Disney's inexorable rise not confirmed yet... Comcast prepares to top Disney’s $52bn bid for 21st Century Fox

Further update - the Comcast (NBCU owner, with Universal having a 9% share of the US market v a combined Fox/Disney 45% on latest figures) counterbid had been rejected by Lachlan Murdoch, but I'd suspect shareholders are likely to demand Disney improves it's bid, and try to spark a bidding war. The Murdochs can see a chance for continuing power through the 'merger' as they would become the single biggest Disney shareholders, so it could be quite a battle.
And Comcast is proceeding with its counterbid for Sky, which Murdoch(s!) has already bid for (the remaining 61% of shares).
Comcast are offering CASH NOT SHARES, so the Murdochs would be incredibly wealthy but stripped of most of their media empire...

An update from my earlier blog... The Disney deal had been announced, subject to FCC (US government media regulator) agreeing, so it is now the big 5 with Disney's new dominance almost certain to spark off another merger to compete.

The business or economics term for this is consolidation. Media academics don't view this process as benign, neutral, not an issue. Chomsky and Herrman's propoganda model includes 'concentration of ownership' in its 'five filters', ways in which radical or counter-hegemonic content are removed from mainstream mass media.

This Disney giant isn't going to be producing politically driven fare like This is England (or even '71 ... or how's about She's a Chinese?!).

Economist Anita Elberse's book Blockbusters is looking more and more like the industry bible.

Rupert Murdoch set to sell off 21st Century Fox assets to Disney

I'd read last week about rumours of ole Rupe (Murdoch, the 'Dirty Digger' and inspiration for the Bind villain in Tomorrow Never Dies) selling up his Fox film and TV studios to Disney.

Now I see fresh reports are exciting stock markets over Comcast getting involved - the owner of NBC-Universal.

Is an already narrow range of dominant companies about to shrink further?

Comcast reportedly targeting 21st Century Fox for acquisition

Remarkable - just a day or so later I stumbled on news of Warner being involved in a mega-merger, the focus this time on TV, with AT&T bringing it's dominant DirecTV satellite provider to the home of HBO, CNN and more. If eventually allowed after legal appeal, I wonder if Warners will follow Disney in removing their content from the likes of Netflix in favour of their own subscription channel (which they could offer in a bundle to existing subscribers)?

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