There were new developments on two fronts in the massive consolidation of global media and content companies currently underway: the AT&T acquisition of Time Warner, and the Disney acquisition of Fox assets.

A month after a federal judge ruled against the U.S. Department of Justice, which had sued to try to stop AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner (see "Judge Rules Against DOJ: AT&T Will Acquire Time Warner (and DC)"), the DOJ announced Thursday that it planned to appeal the ruling, according to the New York Times.  The transaction has closed, but Time Warner (now Warner Media) is being run as a separate unit so could presumably be split off if the DOJ prevailed.

The Disney acquisition of most Fox movie and television assets, on the other hand, is moving in the other direction.  Disney had the inside track after topping Comcast’s bid and clearing regulatory approval (see "DOJ Approves Disney Acquisition of Fox Assets").  Now Comcast has offered $34 billion for a majority share of British company Sky TV in a separate takeover battle, a move that appears to preclude a higher bid for the Fox assets, also according to the New York Times.  The reason is an arcane British takeover rule that would raise the price for Sky TV if Comcast also acquired the Fox assets, which include a minority share of Sky TV.  With Comcast effectively pulling out of the Fox bidding, the Disney-Fox deal is even more likely to close.

As an added twist, the other bidder for Sky TV is Fox, which if successful and if the Disney acquisition goes through would give Disney control of Sky TV.