Discovery/Hasbro Deal Passes Antitrust Muster

The Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department have cleared the way for toy manufacturer Hasbro to take a 50% stake ($300 million worth) in the new joint venture Discovery Kids channel.

Discovery plans to team with Hasbro
to populate Discovery Kids with programming based on Hasbro toys,
including My Little Pony, Tonka, and Transformers, as well as games
Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble.

The FTC on Wednesday issued an early termination notice of its competitive review of the deal.

The deal was required to be submitted for Justice and FTC pre-merger approval per a standard Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust review for potential anti-competitive harm. There is a set waiting period before the transaction can proceed, but the parties can request that the waiting period be terminated early. That request was granted Tuesday.

That means neither the FTC nor the Justice Department plan to file suit to block or condition the deal.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.