The rising number of media mergers expected to fall on the Federal Communications Commission’s doorstep could force the regulatory agency to consider blocking at least one of the mega-deals before it, influential media analyst Craig Moffett wrote Tuesday.
At least three big potential deals have surfaced in the wake of Comcast’s February announcement that it would acquire Time Warner Cable for about $69 billion – AT&T’s $67 billion buyout of DirecTV; SoftBank’s potential acquisition of rival wireless carrier T-Mobile and 21st Century Fox’s $80 billion overture to Time Warner. While SoftBank hasn’t officially made an offer for T-Mobile and Time Warner rebuffed the Fox offer, most analysts consider the media behemoths to be in play.
In his report, Moffett noted that all of those deals – and probably several more that haven’t been announced yet – trace their reason for being to the enormous scale and power that Comcast/TWC will have over the television and broadband industry. And that, Moffett wrote, is why at least one of them could be blocked by the agency.