March 25, 2005

Thank You, TR!

I like TR, and will stand to being corrected if he is not the villain in anti-trust legislation But whoever got the ball rolling deserves disapprobation.

The current crop of deal breakers are myopic to what constitutes competition. It's a fact that DirecTV and Echostar should merge and use their combined assets to take on Comcast. But no! You can't have a single satellite TV provider.

Today Blockbuster is backing out of M&A for fear of sating the trust lawyers. A WSJ news story gives the facts right up top:

Blockbuster Inc. said it won't pursue its $991 million offer to acquire rival video chain Hollywood Entertainment Corp., clearing the way for Hollywood to pursue a previously agreed deal with Movie Gallery Inc.

Blockbuster, Dallas, said it was dropping its unsolicited pursuit of Hollywood because obtaining antitrust approval likely would be difficult. The company said it will promptly return any shares that had been tendered under its offer. Earlier this year, Hollywood accepted an $850 million, or $13.25 a share, offer to merge with Movie Gallery, Dothan, Ala.

Anti-trust? Blockbuster is about to get smooshed like a bug by NetFlix and online content delivery. Why not allow them to bulk up and defend their sector with all available means?

Oh, right, you've got a public to protect...

We're from the government, and here to help. Posted by John Kranz at March 25, 2005 10:49 AM