Geoffrey Manne on Comcast/Fox Merger in Deadline
Geoffrey Manne was quoted in Deadline on the difference between the potential issues presented by a Comcast-Fox merger as opposed to a Disney-Fox Merger:
The opinion comes from Geoffrey Manne, executive director of the International Center for Law and Economics, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization. It can be seen as something of an early preview of how a Comcast bid might be positioned to regulators. The crux of Manne’s point in his report (read it here) is that Comcast-Fox would be a “vertical” merger, combining distribution and content assets. Disney-Fox, he maintains, would be a horizontal blending of content assets.
“On its face, and consistent with the last quarter century of merger enforcement by the DOJ and FTC, the Comcast acquisition would be less likely to trigger antitrust scrutiny, and the Disney acquisition raises more straightforward antitrust issues,” Manne wrote. “This is true even in light of the fact that the DOJ decided to challenge the AT&T-Time Warner merger. The AT&T/TWX merger is a single data point in a long history of successful vertical mergers
that attracted little scrutiny, and no litigation, by antitrust enforcers (although several have been approved subject to consent orders).”