AT&T gets clearance to devour Time Warner for $85 BEEEELION

AT&T gets clearance to devour Time Warner for $85 BEEEELION

This offer comes hot on the heels of the federal approval of AT&T - Time Warner merger, which would make a Comcast acquisition of 21st Century Fox much easier from an antitrust perspective.

Variety is reporting that Comcast has offered $65 billion for 21st Century Fox's TV and studio assets, significantly topping Disney's bid by $12.6 billion - a substantial margin.

Under both the Disney and Comcast proposals, Fox would create a new company to hold onto its news and sports businesses, including Fox News. Comcast is now expected to make an aggressive bid for parts of Fox, which already has a deal to sell some of its entertainment assets to Disney.

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock said Fox's proposal to divest Sky News to Disney - or any other suitable buyer - is likely to be the most effective way to tackle any public interest concerns. Other assets included in the deal are cable networks such as TNT, TBS and Cartoon Network. Disney has made a $52.4 billion all-stock offer for the bulk of Twenty-First Century Fox, including the studios behind the "Avatar" movies, "The Simpsons" and "Modern Family".

This could lead to a dramatic reshaping of the media landscape. While the Department of Justice could still appeal, Comcast seems to believe the gateway is open and made a decision to go in with a heavy hand in regards to 21st Century Fox. 21st Century Fox already agreed in December to sell those assets to Disney, which include all of the movie studio 20th Century Fox, a stake in Hulu, their stake in worldwide broadcaster Sky and many regional sports channels, among other assets.

This could set off a battle between Comcast and Disney . At US$35 a share, the bid represents a 19 per cent premium over the Disney offer, the company said on Wednesday.

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"Judge OKs AT&T merger with Time Warner, rejecting government argument it would hurt pay-TV consumers, competition".

It will bring together AT&T's significant wireless, satellite television and internet business with Time Warner's media properties, which include HBO and CNN.

Comcast is also offering a breakup fee of $2.5 billion if the deal is not consummated, matching the offer from Disney. That was the basis for the government's rejection of AT&T's proposed merger with T-Mobile back in 2011. Comcast shares fell 3.3 percent, though.

Other deals are expected in the wake of Tuesday's ruling, with Verizon on the hunt for a content company, Lionsgate in search of a buyer and any one of several scenarios playing out in the long-running drama over CBS and Viacom. It also agreed to reimburse Fox for the $1.5 billion-plus break-up fee it agreed to pay to Disney if their deal doesn't go through.

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