It may immediately trigger another deal between Comcast and Fox, which already has an agreement to sell its entertainment assets to Walt Disney. As reported by CNBC, the global telecommunications conglomerate was willing to offer $60B in cash for the Rupert Murdoch-founded company.
"We continue to believe that Disney has the superior balance sheet, cost of debt, equity and rationale to emerge victorious over Comcast in a bidding war". Its potential deal Fox would be similar to AT&T/Time Warner by combining a cable and internet businesses with TV channels, news, sports and other entertainment.
In addition to the $35 United States per share cash offer, Comcast agreed to pay a $2.5-billion U.S. termination fee if the deal doesn't pass regulatory muster.
Now that the merger has been given the go ahead, AT&T will add Time Warner's content to its existing paid TV subscription. "Press reports suggest Comcast will come in with a $60B bid (all cash) vs. Disney's existing $52 billion bid (all stock)".
That case was dismissed on Tuesday, giving new impetus to Comcast's proposal and perhaps many more deals like it in the not-too-distant future. No decision has been made on whether to delay a scheduled July 10 shareholder vote on Disney's offer.
Disney itself has "surgically" structured a transaction that "might be doable", avoiding Fox Broadcasting and big Fox sports channels, USA antitrust chief Makan Delrahim said last week.
Shares of Comcast, Fox and Disney were barely changed in after-hours trade.
After Delrahim took over the division, he announced that the department would require asset sales to remedy harm to competition from vertical deals.
In the lawsuit brought forward by the Department of Justice, Judge Richard Leon sided against the government's claims that the $85.4-billion deal between the two companies would violate antitrust laws and unfairly lead to higher prices for consumers.
Comcast, which already owns NBCUniversal, is the US's largest cable company and is likely to face regulatory scrutiny should Fox consider its bid.
Comcast is widely expected to bid within days for part of 21st Century Fox. Marvel would get back the characters previously licensed to Fox, reuniting X-Men with the Avengers.
We thank the Court for its thorough and timely examination of the evidence, and we compliment our colleagues at the Department of Justice on their dedicated representation of the government.
With or without Time Warner, AT&T is very focused on its media business.
"You are basically taking old-school media competing against the new behemoths - the Amazons, the Apples." he said in an interview.
Regulators in this country also have cleared Comcast's $30.7bn offer for the 61% of Sky that Mr Murdoch does not own.
Fox acknowledged in a news release that it received Comcast's offer and said its board, attorneys and financial advisers will review it.
The merger was approved without any conditions, a stunning rebuke of the government's case.
The justice department, and Donald Trump, had argued the deal would concentrate too much power in one set of hands and that AT&T could use the power of Time Warner's content, which includes hit shows like HBO's Game of Thrones and the Warner Brothers movie catalogue, to force rival carriers to pay higher prices that would be passed on to the consumer.