Comcast outbids Disney with a $65 billion offer for Fox

AT&T, Time Warner Merger Approved by Judge

With AT&T's victory over the DOJ, it seems likely that Comcast will put together its bid for Fox quickly.

Subsequently, Comcast sent a letter to the board of directors of 21st Century Fox, notifying them of the superior offer ahead of the planned July 10 vote on the Disney merger.

These assets are expected to include the Fox movie studio, some networks like FX and Nat Geo, the company's Hulu stake, and more.

That decision had widely been interpreted as a signal that Comcast would make a play for Fox, which is now negotiating a merger with Walt Disney.

Those fears subsided yesterday, at least in the eyes of Comcast, when a United States district judge overruled the DOJ and declared that the AT&T-Time Warner deal could proceed without antitrust fears.

Comcast also agreed to cover the $1.5 billion breakup fee that Fox would owe Disney if it backed out of that deal. In a statement, Fox said it would "carefully review" the "unsolicited" offer.

"The Government has failed to meet its burden of proof to show that the merger is likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition", he wrote in his ruling.

The mega-merger is a high-stakes bet by AT&T Inc. on the synergy between companies that produce news and entertainment and those that funnel it to consumers - who spend more time watching video on phones and tablets and less time on traditional live TV on a big screen. Consistence in the application of the law is critical in a free market economy and it's equally important for preserving confidence in our government, confidence that they will fairly adjudicate the matters brought before them.

"Compare today to the 50s or 60s when we had three television stations and you had one AT&T that was, then, protected by government monopoly", Crews said.

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.

Much like at the climax of Avengers: Infinity War, the substantial, all-cash bid for the rights to intellectual properties owned by 21st Century Fox by Comcast is entering the endgame. However, in recent weeks, we've heard rumblings that Comcast was looking to make a more generous, all-cash offer...but is this something the government would allow?

AT&T has said it needed Time Warner to compete with Amazon, Netflix and Google in streaming TV and the company promised to give consumers more choices.

After a federal judge ruled on Tuesday that AT&T could buy Time Warner, investors poured into some stocks while unloading others.

AT&T made an attempt to buy T-Mobile in 2011, but the transaction also fell apart when the regulators expressed opposition and filed a lawsuit to block the deal.

To see how this could happen, consider that, after the merger, AT&T would have the rights to all of HBO's output, CNN, live National Basketball Association and NCAA broadcasts, and many more desirable Time Warner properties.