Fox suitors' consolidating Hulu control could raise antitrust concern

31 May 2018 - 03:40 pm UTC

 
Twenty-First Century Fox [NASDAQ:FOXA] suitors Comcast [NASDAQ:CMCSA] and Disney [NYSE:DIS] both face possible antitrust concerns over the consolidation of Hulu in their competing quests to purchase their rival content provider, according to two people familiar with the matter and two industry executives.
 
The vertical issues stemming from either company obtaining control of this over-the-top (OTT) service through their acquisition of Fox’s assets are similar to those found problematic by government agencies during their review of Comcast’s 2013 acquisition of full control of NBCUniversal, said the first person familiar.
 
Comcast, Disney and Fox each have 30% stakes in Hulu, so either suitor would walk away with a controlling 60% ownership of the OTT service when acquiring Fox.
 
By Victoria Turner in Washington D.C.