AT&T Decision Could Determine Fox's Future

June 12, 2018

By Lauren Babbage

A federal judge is expected to decide Tuesday afternoon whether AT&T can proceed with its $85.4 billion takeover of Time Warner.

If Judge Richard J. Leon lets it go ahead, the media deal could open the market to a flood of merger possibilities, and pave the way for a takeover of 21st Century Fox, said Rich Greenfield, a media analyst for BTIG.

Disney is seeking to buy Fox in a deal worth $52.4 billion, but it faces a competing $60 billion all-cash offer from Comcast, depending on the outcome of the AT&T-Time Warner trial.

"We think the odds are still very high that Comcast is going to bid," Greenfield said in an interview Tuesday with Cheddar. "It would have to be a very, very broad decision ー meaning barring all vertical mergers ー to stop Comcast from bidding for Fox. They really want this. The word we keep hearing is 'we are not losing.'"

Last week, Greenfield said the Murdoch family, which controls Fox, is open to Comcast's $60 billion offer, after reports it was only interested in a stock deal from Disney.

If Judge Leon sides with the Justice Department and blocks the AT&T takeover of Time Warner, Greenfield said he doesn't expect an appeal. That might leave Time Warner open for Disney to come in should it lose Fox to Comcast.

"Imagine the minds of all the superhero comic-book fans would explode if the DC / Marvel universes were essentially united if Disney buys Time Warner," Greenfield said. "I think there could be a feeding frenzy for Time Warner's assets if this deal get blocked."

For full interview, click here.