Democrats Trying To Stop Disney and Fox Deal
What should come as no surprise, it's now learned House and Senate Democrats part of the antitrust subcommittees are calling for hearings regarding the recently announced Disney and Fox deal valued at $52.4 billion.
Variety reports Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said that the proposed transaction was “another industry-changing merger, which would have major implications in television, film, and media," and added: "I’m concerned about the impact of this transaction on American consumers."
The article notes that Klobuchar asked Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to schedule a hearing regarding the matter, but none has been set so far. The pair did quickly schedule a hearing when requested regarding the AT&T and Time Warner merger.
Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) also requested a close look at the Disney and Fox deal and added that the country is at a “monopoly moment”: “Disney’s proposed purchase of 21st Century Fox threatens to put control of TV, movie, and news content into the hands of a single media giant. If it’s approved, this merger could allow Disney to limit what consumers can watch and increase their cable bills. Disney will gain more than 300 channels, 22 regional sports networks, control over Hulu, and a significant portion of Roku.”
President Trump has voiced his support for the Disney and Fox deal, and the White House has confirmed that Trump spoke with Fox's Rupert Murdoch congratulating him about the sale.
“The president spoke with Rupert Murdoch earlier today, congratulated him on the deal and thinks that, to use one of the president’s favorite words, that this could be a great thing for jobs,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. “And he certainly looks forward to and is hoping to see a lot more of those created.”
Barring any direct interference from the government, the deal is said to take about 12-18 months to go through the Justice Department's regulatory process and would see the Fox movie and TV properties sold to Disney, including Avatar, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Wolverine, Deadpool and more, while Fox would retain its news and sports programs.