After the rumors about Disney chasing 21 Century Fox’s several assets, new informations revealed by US media put Murdoch’s company in the middle of a dispute between major audiovisual and entertainment giants as Comcast, Verizon, Sony and Amazon. Negotiations with Disney, which were never officially confirmed, are now cooled, according to people familiar with the matter.
It’s uncertain if FCC (Federal Communication Commission) would accept such a merge. New president Ajit Pai has abolished some regulations considered obsolete because of the relevance of internet’s new medias, which provide an high level of competition in the industry. However, this deregulamentation did not prevent Department of Justice from obstacle another fusion between AT&T and Time Warner, although political influences are suspected because of Time Warner’s ownership of CNN, “enemy” of President Donald Trump. Minor merges, such as Verizon with Fox, wouldn’t be a problem for FCC, especially if we consider Verizon’s number of clients against Comcast’s.
Anyway, a fusion with Comcast would be historic: two of the six most important major studios in Hollywood (FOX and Universal Pictures) would be under one roof and Comcast’s cable programming would be a problem for streaming platforms such as Netflix. Also, a deal would open to Comcast the access to international markets such as India, where Fox’s Star owns 58 channels and, of course, Fox’s stake of 39% of SKY in Europe. Comcast would have access to Fox’s 30% stake of streaming service Hulu (The Handmaid’s Tale), adding this to its 30% stake and overtaking Disney and Time Warner’s stake.