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One Thing Is Certain: A Fox-Time Warner Combination Would Get DC Scrutiny

July 17, 2014

​Fenwick & West antitrust and unfair competition co-chair Mark Ostrau was quoted in Variety on news of a possible Fox-Time Warner merger.

Ostrau told Variety that such a merger could expect close scrutiny by federal agencies, and “would be in for a long haul because this touches on multiple markets in areas that have been, if not directly, certainly important to a lot of antitrust focus by the Justice Department and the FCC.”

Ostrau added that companies trying to address antitrust issues in a merger of this size may plan divestitures. He cited a 1948 decision in which the Supreme Court required merging movie studios to divest theater chains they owned.

In response to concerns that a Fox-Time Warner merger would create a TV and film production concentration with negative impact on industry jobs, Ostrau pointed out that these concerns do not necessarily mean that the transaction has serious antitrust issues.

“Certainly the film business is fairly concentrated among the majors, but typically in most industries, if you have got three or four other significant competitors, you don’t see much of an ultimate [antitrust] concern.” Ostrau said.

The full article is available through the Variety website.