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Time Warner: Political ‘Motivation’ Was Behind Antitrust Lawsuit

Time Warner: Political ‘Motivation’ Was Behind Antitrust Lawsuit

The biggest impact of this deal will be felt quickly, as Comcast will now formally make an offer to Fox for the majority of its assets.

Shares in entertainment companies and potential targets of new deals because of Leon's decision rose sharply - CBS shot up about 5 percent and Fox jumped 7 percent in after-market trading on hopes of a bidding war for it between Comcast and Disney.

"We're disappointed that it took 18 months to get here, but we are relieved that it's finally behind us", he told reporters after the decision.

"We are pleased that, after conducting a full and fair trial on the merits, the Court has categorically rejected the government's lawsuit to block our merger with Time Warner", the AT&T victory lap reads. "I think we'll see now that companies will be much more confident about vertical mergers", he added, referring to acquisitions which tie together different parts of a business, such as production and distribution.

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. "In a scenario in which the Government appeals but does not secure a stay of the ruling, we would expect the merger to be consummated and our review completed", Moody's wrote in a research note.

Comcast's deal is expected to be announced tomorrow.

Disney CEO Bob Iger has repeatedly denied to comment on the deal itself, citing the ongoing regulatory process, but has expressed excitement about his company's plan for how to integrate the assets.

The two then had a long lunch in the Time Warner dining room in NY and agreed that their industries were under siege. "The immediate fallout of this decision is likely to be an attempt by Comcast to outbid Disney for the media content owned by Fox".

And though many fans are angry at the possibility that the X-Men will remain out of Kevin Feige's grasp, there are others who feel differently about possible mega mergers.

Still, the AT&T court fight gave Comcast valuable information about how to structure a Fox deal, said David Scharf, a litigation expert with Morrison Cohen.

The deal is what is known as a vertically integrated merger: a joining of two companies that do not directly compete with each other.

Originally it was said that AT&T had planned to launch AT&T Watch no matter what happens with the current Time Warner DOJ court case. He also warned that the government might try to find a way around the courts to block the deal.

But Salil K. Mehra, a professor at Temple's Beasley School of Law and an expert on antitrust, said "this is a courageous new world in which leverage issues and the data collection on individuals make it harder to predict what will happen".

"Consumers should fear a cascade of unchecked mergers and acquisitions to further consolidate the telecom industry resulting in less choice, fewer competitors and higher prices", Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, said in a statement. "The fact is that they've gotten a little easier, and we'll see a big flurry of deals". It argued a combined AT&T-Time Warner could act like an internet company and use consumer data to offer more targeted advertising, and adapt more easily to compete with Netflix and Amazon.

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