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Haim Saban explains why the Fox-Disney merger ‘stumped’ him

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Saban Capital Group Chairman & CEO, Haim Saban, joins 'Influencers with Andy Serwer' to discuss consolidation and M&A in the media industry.

Video Transcript

- You've been involved in media M&A over the years, as we've talked about a little bit. How would you assess the most recent ones and how they're doing so far, which is to say Time Warner and AT&T and Fox and Disney, companies you know a little bit more about?

HAIM SABAN: Right. Well, AT&T did the right thing to buy DirecTV when they did. And we know that they bought it, I was on the board at the time of DirecTV, they bought it for $50 billion, and now it's up for sale for $15 billion. So they, like us, have become victims of traditional media problem, that we have [? won, ?] by the way.

So from that point of view, not so great. The Time Warner, or the Warner, I should say, content that they bought I think was a good move. And they got a great guy, Jason Kilar, a guy with a vision, to run it. And I think that they're doing some very interesting things. I think they're going to come out really well with the Warner acquisition, in my humble opinion.

- And then Fox and Disney.

HAIM SABAN: Well, that's one that stunned me because Rupert doesn't sell anything. He doesn't like to sell absolutely anything. And that one, he realized it's a matter of too big to be small and too small to be big.

So he really needed to make a move, either acquire, which he did try to acquire Warner, because he realized you need more scale both at the content and as well as the distribution level. So when he identified the fact that there wasn't much for him to buy to, and again, this is my humble opinion, and Bob Iger came to him with this offer, he said, well, OK, I'll go the other way. I'll play the Disney card. And I'm assuming he took stock, so he's doing all right. He's doing all right.