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Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

In a new complaint filed Tuesday, National Amusements Inc. (NAI), CBS Corporation's parent company, now says that its vice chairwoman and CBS' majority stakeholder Shari Redstone advised Viacom’s special committee that NAI no longer supported a merger — prior to CBS' lawsuit against Redstone and NAI that attempted to strip Redstone of her voting power.

Why it matters: Today's statement solidifies what the media community has largely assumed for the past few weeks: the desire to merge CBS and Viacom is officially dead on both sides — not just from CBS' perspective.

The bigger picture: It's the latest installment in the years-long saga of the power struggle between longtime CBS Chairman Les Moonves and Redstone that's intensified over the past few weeks.

  • At the heart of the disagreement is whether or not Redstone was, as CBS alleges, trying to force CBS to merge with Viacom so that Redstone could retain control over the two companies. CBS says the merger isn't best for its shareholders and shocked the media community when it sued Redstone to strip her of majority share ownership so that she could not dismantle the CBS board.

What they're saying:

  • NAI: "NAI and Shari Redstone did not, and do not, intend to force a recombination of CBS and Viacom, whether by removing and replacing CBS directors or otherwise. In fact, prior to CBS’s action, Shari Redstone had already determined and advised a special committee of Viacom’s board that NAI no longer supported a merger."
  • CBS: “Today’s reactive complaint from NAI was not unexpected. The amended complaint filed last week by CBS and its Special Committee details the ways in which NAI misused its power to the detriment of CBS shareholders, and was submitted after careful deliberation by all involved. We continue to believe firmly in our position.”

Go Deeper: The Wall Street Journal has a good profile on the tension between Moonves and Redstone.

Go deeper

37 mins ago - Health

Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dems fear supply-chain blame

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As supply-chain kinks drive up prices and disrupt holiday shopping, Democrats are scrambling to show action and deflect blame.

Why it matters: With their party controlling both the White House and Capitol, vulnerable Democrats worry supply-chain snafus will hurt them in next year's midterms.

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: Germany urges Congress not to sanction Putin’s pipeline

Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The German government has urged members of Congress not to sanction the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, arguing that doing so will "weaken" U.S. credibility and "ultimately damage transatlantic unity," according to documents obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: At a time when roughly 100,000 Russian troops are massing at its border, Ukraine views Nord Stream 2 as an existential threat to its security. The pipeline would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion.