Viacom and CBS agree to reunite

AMERICA’S MEDIA business once lionised boutique firms and their iconoclastic bosses. No longer. Like so many other industries, it has come to be dominated by a few huge companies focused squarely on achieving economies of scale. Besides Netflix, a pioneer of video-streaming with a market capitalisation of $131bn, most of the giants were created through mergers. AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner produced a $250bn behemoth. Disney’s takeover of 21st Century Fox in March has created a juggernaut worth just under $240bn. Verizon, another telecoms titan, which in 2015 snapped up AOL, an online portal, comes in at $230bn. Just shy of $200bn, Comcast, a cable company which last year bought Sky, a British satellite broadcaster, is the tiddler of the bunch.

Against this supersized backdrop Viacom, a content provider with a market value of nearly $11bn, and CBS, a television network worth some $17bn, look like flailing minnows. But they do control some prime media properties, including Paramount, a Hollywood film studio, and TV series such as “CSI” and “South Park”. And this week, after years of wrangling, the two firms agreed to merge in an all-share deal engineered by Shari Redstone, daughter of Sumner Redstone, a legendary tycoon (who is aged 96 and ailing).

The two firms were once united...



via Business Feeds

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