1 big thing: Trump's phone call
President Trump spoke with 21st Century Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch yesterday about the $52.4 billion Fox-Disney deal, Axios' Dan Primack and Sara Fischer report.
- Why it matters: "Trump and Murdoch are old pals, but this conversation could raise accusations of political favoritism when it comes to regulatory approvals. Not only for Disney/Fox, but also for AT&T's attempted takeover of Time Warner."
Details of the deal:
- The transaction would include 21st Century Fox’s film and television studios, like 20th Century Fox and its rights to popular movies like X-Men and Avatar, its cable entertainment networks, like Nat Geo TV and FX, and international TV businesses, like its 39% in UK-based Sky News and Star TV in India.
- Disney also gets Fox's 30% stake in Hulu. Added to its existing 30% stake, Disney becomes the controlling stakeowner in the streaming property.
- Disney expects to achieve $2 billion in "cost synergies" by 2021, which often is corporate-speak for layoffs, it said in an investor call today.
- Disney would owe Fox a $2.5 billion breakup fee in the event of government opposition. That either means Disney is quite confident in regulatory approval, or means that Fox is wary.
2. What you missed
- Tax cut updates: Marco Rubio is threatening to vote against the deal unless Republicans up child tax credit. They might let individual tax rate cuts expire sooner.
- The FCC voted today to remove net neutrality rules that prohibited internet providers from giving preferential treatment to some web content — or blocking it entirely. More.
- Venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar has left Sherpa Ventures, the San Francisco-based firm he co-founded in 2013, following multiple allegations of sexual harassment. He has denied all of the claims, including one made on-the-record to Axios. Details.
- By the numbers: 42% of working women in the U.S. say they have faced gender discrimination on the job. Only 22% of working men say the same. More.
- Walmart will start allowing its workers to claim already-earned wages before their scheduled payday, in order to help its associates meet unexpected expenses. Read up.