In the media industry, just like in any other business, mergers and acquisitions are extremely important. If we look into the previous four years, we will see that approximately 2000 merger and acquisition deals were made annually from 2014 until 2018. In 2018 there were 1700 mergers and acquisitions, three of which were very important for the media industry. The conspicuous nature of the companies and the financial worth of the transactions made the deals so significant. In the following paragraphs, these acquisitions will be presented.
THE MEREDITH ACQUISITION OF TIME, INC.
The mass media corporation, Meredith, made the official acquisition of Time Inc. in January 2018 for 2.8 billion dollars. In the transaction, the shares were estimated at 18.50 dollars each. The acquisition brought many financial benefits for Meredith.
Firstly, with the acquisition of the Times, Meredith’s brands have gained bigger readership. With this deal, they have gained a leading position in entertainment, food, lifestyle, news, sports, fashion, parenting, etc. Secondly, this acquisition has brought the company the position of one of the top 10 of the leading media company. Now, they have approximately 170 million visitors in the United States of America, and they earn around 700 million dollars annually on advertising. Thirdly, with this acquisition, Meredith expects to increase income from different streams. This will additionally, enhance their financial strength and stability and help their business furthermore.
AT&T ACQUISITION OF TIME WARNER
In June 2018, AT&T acquired Time Warner and made a great acquisition deal for 85 billion dollars. This acquisition was considered to be the 12th largest acquisition in business and the fourth one in the media and entertainment industry. The deal connected the leading companies in media and entertainment, Warner Bros., HBO and Turner with AT&T company which is one of the top companies in video and mobile industry. AT&T gained many benefits through this merge which gave it an unfair advantage against other TV providers. For that reason, the United States Justice Department objected this acquisition.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, this acquisition would not only be a threat to other TV providers but also would harm customers. However, this did not stop the company to acquire either Warner Bros. or HBO and Turner.
WALT DISNEY ACQUIRES TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOX, INC.
The Twenty-first century Fox incorporation was bought by Walt Disney in June 2018 as well. This acquisition brought 71.3 billion dollars for Twenty-First Century Fox. the shareholders received around 343 million shares of the company. Each share was estimated to cost 38 dollars. This acquisition was beneficial for the Walt Disney Company. With this acquisition, Walt Disney expanded to the so-called DTC (direct-to-consumer) offerings, and more importantly, it expanded its market abroad. In addition, the acquisition brought more personalized and compelling entertainment which attracts a wider audience.
The year 2018 was a year of acquisitions in the media industry. Among 1700 acquisitions, these three were the most prominent and the most important for many reasons. Firstly, AT&T acquisition of Time Warner brought a lot of influence and money to the company. Secondly, Meredith acquisition of Time Inc. made the company more stable. Finally, the purchase of Twenty-First century Fox by Walt Disney expanded the target audience. It goes without saying how important 2018 was. So, will there be so many great acquisitions in 2019? Probably not, but we can still hope.