Feds OK Sony Purchase of Funimation

The federal government has no antitrust issues with the combination of Sony Pictures Television Networks and animation studio Funimation.

On July 31, Sony announced it had reached a deal to buy a 95% interest in the Japanese anime distributor for $143 million. Sony is getting North America's top supplier of anime content—over 10,000 hours—to combine with its anime network, ANIMAX, and other platforms.

On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission included the deal on the list of proposed mergers that have gotten early termination of their Hart Scott Rodino antitrust reviews, meaning neither the FTC nor the Justice Department—they divide up such reviews—found a reason to block or condition the deal.

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Funimation titles include Dragon Ball ZCowboy Bebop and Attack on Titan as well as operating the FunimationNOW streaming service on PlayStation, Google Play, Amazon, iTunes and other platforms.

“With the acquisition of Funimation, the combined IP of ANIMAX, KIDS STATION and Funimation allows us to deliver the best anime to fans across all screens and platforms," said Andy Kaplan, president, Worldwide Networks, Sony Pictures Television, back when the deal was announced.

ANIMAX is an anime network operating in 23 countries, including Japan.

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.