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Ear to the Ground

Rupert Murdoch Wants to Buy the Company That Owns HBO and CNN

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Posted on Jul 16, 2014

It’s merger mania, with AT&T going after DirecTV and Comcast looking to gobble up Time Warner Cable—not to be confused with Time Warner Inc., another cable company that is now the object of Rupert Murdoch’s appetite.

The media mogul, who owns numerous cable channels, TV stations, newspapers and the most successful movie studio in Hollywood, has reportedly offered $75 billion.

Bloomberg has a source that says Fox would sell off CNN (the company already owns Fox News) to appease regulators, but that probably won’t be enough. The combined company would give Murdoch a huge negotiating advantage with content providers (the aforementioned Comcast and AT&T) and theater operators (Time Warner Inc. owns Warner Bros., the second-most successful studio this year).

Fox is expected to argue that it must gain leverage if it is to contend with even more massive cable providers, but it would be easier to just say no to all the deals on the table and let competition rule. Perhaps Murdoch’s bid is a brilliant maneuver to scuttle those other mergers.

Speaking of mergers, let’s not forget that Sprint is still trying to buy T-Mobile.

—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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