On Wednesday, Fox increased its bid for the 61 percent of Sky it doesn’t own yet, at a price that values the British pay-TV company at $32.1 billion. Meanwhile, Comcast swiveled away from fighting Disney for control of Fox, then fired back at Fox with a $34 billion counterbid for Sky—and news broke that the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice is appealing last month’s decision by Judge Richard Leon approving the merger of AT&T and Time Warner.
All of these things fit together: Comcast wants to buy Sky for the same reason that the Department of Justice is still fighting AT&T. Both Comcast and AT&T want to be high-risk, high-reward media companies, and that’s bad news for every other part of the entertainment/data ecosystem—including consumers.
Let’s start with AT&T. Judge Leon’s opinion on the merger with Time Warner, which would put content plus distribution in the same hands—was looney, in my view. (AT&T