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Media megadeals to watch in 2018

The big deals coming down the pike this year, even as the deals landscape looks more dicey then expected.

AT&T / Time Warner

  • Deal value: $85 billion
  • Deal status: DOJ suing to block deal. Court date is in March.
  • Likelihood of passage: Debated. AT&T thinks it will go through.
  • What would stop passage: Anti-competitive concerns around AT&T owning a direct-to-consumer service (DirecTV) with internet pipes and a content arm (Time Warner).

Walt Disney Co. / 21st Century Fox

  • Deal Value: $52.4 billion
  • Deal status: Pending DOJ approval
  • Likelihood of passage: Seems likely
  • What would stop passage: Anti-competitive concerns around Disney owning a large chunk of regional sports networks in the U.S.; competitive leverage over theater owners

Sinclair Broadcasting Group / Tribune Media

  • Deal Value: $3.9 billion
  • Deal status: Pending DOJ and FCC approval
  • Likelihood of passage: Seems likely
  • What would stop passage: The DOJ has asked Sinclair to divest 10 stations ahead of the merger, but it seems like Sinclair is playing ball with regulators.

CBS Corp. / Viacom

  • Deal Value: TBD. CBS' market cap is $21.65 billion. Viacom's market cap is $12.77 billion.
  • Deal status: Both companies have formed exploratory committees to evaluate potential merger. There’s rumors that the deal would be structured as "an all-stock transaction with CBS acquiring Viacom," according to Variety.
  • Likelihood of passage: Seems likely.
  • What would stop passage: Experts say if a Disney/Fox merger is approved, there's no reason that this deal, which is much smaller and similarly structured, wouldn't pass as well.

Fun read: Recode's Edmund Lee lays out a good case for why Amazon should buy CBS.

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