The Trump administration may be more open to the Disney-Twenty-First Century Fox deal than other proposed media mergers, billionaire investor Mario Gabelli told CNBC on Thursday.
“From my point of view, the one good news is that the administration … is more friendly towards Fox than they would to CNN,” Gabelli said on “Squawk Box,” referring to President Donald Trump‘s adoration of Fox News and his loathing of CNN, which he has repeatedly called “fake news.”
Gabelli called into CNBC shortly after Disney announced a deal to pay $52.4 billion in stock for many parts of Fox, including Fox movie studios, Nat Geo, stakes in Sky and Hulu, and regional sports networks, but not Fox News Channel and other Fox television broadcasting assets.
As of the latest securities filing on Sept. 30, Gabelli’s Gamco Investors owned 3.5 million Twenty-First Century Fox Class A shares and 2.6 million Fox Class B shares. Gamco also has a small stake in Disney.
Gabelli comments about CNN came after reports last month that the Justice Department was pushing AT&T to sell assets, including possibly the cable news network, in order to get approval for its proposed $85 billion buyout of Time Warner. The DOJ has denied those reports.
Gamco owned nearly 2.1 million Time Warner shares and about 1.4 million shares of AT&T, as of Sept. 30.
Billionaire media investor Mario Gabelli wonders whether Trump's like of Fox might help Disney deal