Antitrust Officials Clear Comcast’s $3.8B DreamWorks Animation Acquisition

DreamWorks Animation

The Justice Department indicated today that it won’t stand in the way of Comcast-owned NBCUniversal’s $3.8 billion bid to buy DreamWorks Animation.

Antitrust officials didn’t make a second request for information, signalling that they see no need to step in. The transaction was listed on the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department’s list of those receiving “early termination” notices — meaning the parties don’t have to wait to proceed.

“We’re pleased the DOJ has completed its review of NBCUniversal’s pending acquisition of DreamWorks Animation and we look forward to closing the transaction in the coming months,” Universal spokeswoman Teri Everett says.

This is deal still needs to be approved in some territories.

But today’s news pretty much ensures that Comcast won’t have to pay DWA a $200 million breakup fee provided for in their contract if antitrust officials derailed the acquisition. That seemed a reasonable precaution after Justice and FCC officials objected to Comcast’s effort to buy Time Warner Cable.

Comcast and DWA said in April that they expect their deal to close by year’s end.

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