Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of 21st Century Fox, recently offered to buy Time Warner, an offer that was rejected but could be the first in a long dance.
The potential deal immediately sprang up antitrust concerns. 21st Century Fox owns Fox News, and Time Warner owns CNN. The two are in direct competition in the political cable-media market, and the two being under the same big media roof wouldn’t sit well on Capitol Hill.
But as part of the deal, the Time Warner subsidiary CNN would have been spun off, according to The New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin and Michael De La Merced.
From the report:
As part of the proposal to buy Time Warner, people briefed on the proposal said, 21st Century Fox indicated that it would sell CNN to head off potential antitrust concerns since Fox News competes directly with CNN. Putting CNN on the auction block would likely stir up a bidding war for the news channel; both CBS and ABC, a unit of the Walt Disney Company, have long been viewed as interested suitors.
21st Century Fox confirmed in a statement that it pursued the deal, but Time Warner’s board of directors rejected it. The company said it is not currently in discussions with Time Warner. But Murdoch’s first offer has been generally viewed as only the start of a potentially lengthy negotiation. Any deal that would merge the two media conglomerates would make Murdoch the head of a media empire that includes TNT, TBS, HBO, Warner Brothers, and Fox News, among others.
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