Seems like Rupert is playing poker. He's betting on the fact that the buyout (let's stop calling it a merger, shall we?) won't be approved, and then he can swoop in and bid less than he did the first time since there won't be any competition. Shrewd. My guess is he'll also be most vocal in trying to block the sale.
Personally, I think this thing will go through. Charlie's point about the chief competition being cable and only having a 17% share of the pay-television market is a good one. There are many, many cable monopolies out there, and blocking this deal would open up the field for a lot more lawsuits.
It'll be interesting to see how things go. But from what I've heard and read, Charlie's got his eggs in a row and has a very convincing argument for getting this through.
Is it not also true that some of those same people who would throw rocks at this deal are the same ones lobbying for increased caps on ownership? How can they point a finger at this proposed merger and then justify their own desires for lifting the 35% cap?
Murdoch's Achilles heel is the question of foreign ownership of American television, in my estimation. With David Boies advising Charlie - remember this name from the Florida election chad-counting fiasco and his part in George Bush's victory - we may see a lively war of words.
The question of whether this proposed merger constitutes a monopoly seems a murky house of mirrors in this case. Murdoch's plans and, more importantly, how/if they benefit the American viewing public is a more pertinent question...
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