Disney, Reliance start antitrust diligence on media merger -sourcesDisney, Reliance start antitrust diligence on media merger -sources

Two major players in the streaming world are thinking about working together. Together, they offer 120 TV programs, which is a huge number. The goal is to make India a big entertainment hub, and rumors say that Reliance will likely end up buying most of it.

Reliance Industries Limited and Walt Disney, the worldwide entertainment conglomerate, are in the early stages of investigating possible antitrust problems in India’s media and entertainment business. According to people acquainted with the matter, Reliance has hired Indian legal firms Khaitan & Co and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, while Disney has hired AZB & Partners.

Both firms, recognised for their significant presence in streaming services, are considering a merger that may result in India’s largest entertainment force. The idea is to combine their powers, with a total of 120 TV channels between them, with Reliance expected to spearhead this new initiative.

The competition study is likely to run into problems, which could mean that assets like TV stations need to be sold. This step is meant to ease concerns about how they will affect the market as a whole.

The reviews are just beginning, and if the deal goes through, it could change India’s TV and streaming business in big ways. Another interesting development is that Sony, a company based in Japan, wants to join its Indian business with Zed Entertainment.

In India, Disney has had trouble, especially when going up against Reliance. For example, Reliance let people watch the Indian Premier League cricket event for free, even though Disney owned the digital rights to it in India.

Antitrust experts said that the streaming companies would be the ones that would be closely looked at, especially when it comes to advertising during cricket games.

The International Cricket Council matches can be watched on Disney Hotstar in India until 2027. The Indian Premier League is shown on Reliance’s JioCinema app. Early on in the talks, executives didn’t seem to agree on how to value Reliance and Disney’s entertainment units.

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