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Industry Insider Says Any Potential Comcast-ViacomCBS Deal Won’t Happen Until Landscape Settles Down

Jeff Kotuby

Any hopes of a Comcast-ViacomCBS deal may have to wait until things quiet down, according to one industry insider.

This week, Forbes reported that both parties are waiting to see how the Biden Administration handles the upcoming Warner Bros. Discovery merger before discussing a deal of their own. The Biden Administration has vowed to stringently uphold the country’s antitrust laws, which can present problems for large-scale mergers. There may still be a chance the two do business outside the US, though.

“It wouldn’t shock me if later this fall, we got back into a discussion of whether there’s anything more that we can do together,” said Forbes’ source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

For now, it looks like the two sides will at least discuss international streaming deals. According to the Wall Street Journal, at a New York meeting around the end of June, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and ViacomCBS Chair Shari Redstone, along with ViacomCBS CEO Robert Bakish, discussed a variety of possible partnership opportunities that would allow the two companies to enter markets outside the United States together, including the possibility of ViacomCBS’ Paramount+ and Comcast’s Peacock streaming together internationally.

As the “streaming arms race” ramps up, potential deals between Comcast and ViacomCBS will no doubt be interesting to observe. Internally, ViacomCBS fears being a “small fish in a big pond,” according to the Forbes report, and Comcast is reportedly interested in making a huge splash in the streaming game. The report said Comcast could acquire ViacomCBS or Roku, but, at least with the former, it looks like a merger would be the likely outcome.

If a deal with ViacomCBS can’t get done, look for Comcast to work out a deal with Warner Bros. Discovery. According to reports, Roberts was interested in merging with one of the two parties, likely WarnerMedia, before it ended up with Discovery.

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