The Biden administration made a statement earlier this month when the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit to block the $2.1 billion sale of Simon & Schuster. Merrick Garland’s body block of the deal that ViacomCBS struck with Bertelsmann’s Penguin Random House sends the message that the White House is paying attention to the pace of consolidation in media and entertainment. If the antitrust division is worried about too much concentration among owners of the oldest of mass media platforms — books — just think how the Attorney General’s watchdogs would view nuptials among two major studios or more big-name broadcast and cable assets.
Competition isn’t the only think that could be hampered if Fox buys Time Warner, as the free-flow of diverse opinions could be, too. The merger would reduce control of the major Hollywood studios to five owners, from six, and major television producers to four, from five.
Shareholders voted to approve the merger announced in June. The merged company will retain the Media General name, continue to be traded on the NYSE and will remain headquartered in Richmond, Va.
Charter Communications Inc. is weighing a bid for Time Warner Cable Inc before year-end and is trying to devise a deal structure that would lure the No. 2 U.S. cable operator’s shareholders, people familiar with the matter say.
U.S. antitrust authorities from the Federal Trade Commission have cleared the Omnicom Group and Publicis Groupe merger. “The expiration of the HSR [Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act] review period in the U.S. and the approvals received in other jurisdictions satisfy some of the conditions necessary for the transaction to close,” Publicis Groupe saidt.
At a special meeting in Dallas Wednesday, shareholders of Belo Corp. voted in favor of the proposal to approve and adopt a merger agreement with Gannett.
The News-Press & Gazette Company has purchased KION, KMUV and KKFX from the Cowles California Media Company, subject to approvals from the Federal Communications Commission.
The mergers and acquisitions marketplace for the media industry saw the total value of deals increase 9% from $43 billion in 2010 to $47 billion in 2011, according to The Jordan, Edmiston Group. The total number of deals increased 1.7% from 881 to 896.