The New York Times has an interesting op-ed suggesting that if the Justice Department is seeking to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger on antitrust grounds than it certainly will try to do the same thing with the Disney-Fox merger–that is, unless White House politics gets in the way. The piece theorizes that the Justice Department’s attempted blockage of the AT&T-Time Warner deals has more to do with Time Warner being the owner of CNN, the cable channel Donald Trumps loves to hate-watch, than any real antitrust concerns.
Both the White House and the Justice Department have denied this. But if politics really doesn’t play a role in current antitrust investigations, then surely the JD will seek to block the Disney-Fox merger as well as the Times argues it presents a potentially greater antitrust concern than the AT&T-Time Warner merger does. Then again, if politics is influencing the JD’s antitrust investigations, the Times says the Disney-Fox merger might be safe as President Trump and Fox owner Rupert Murdoch are self-described “good friends.”MG