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Sony’s building an anime empire was halted due to the Ministry of Justice

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Sony’s hopes of building an anime empire have been hit Hitch after that Expanded US Department of Justice antitrust review of Sony’s proposed acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T for $ 1.175 billion.

The information suggests that the review, which seeks to determine whether the deal gives Sony control over anime broadcasts, could delay the sale by several months and could wipe it out as well.

Lawyers for the Justice Department are reviewing the deal to see if it gives Japanese anime studios fewer options to distribute shows in the United States.

The information adds that the review may take six months or more, and that if the ministry does not approve the merger, it can file a lawsuit to prevent it.

Crunchyroll announced in December that Sony’s Funimation Global Group was acquiring Crunchyroll.

Sony stated that the purchase price will be $ 1.175 billion, to be paid in cash upon closing the deal, which is still awaiting regulatory approvals and other conditions.

AT&T and Sony told the Department of Justice: Crunchyroll and Sony’s emerging anime empire are just two of the many options available to anime makers to distribute their shows outside of Japan.

And mean Controlling Funimation and Crunchyroll is one thing in the context of anime streaming services in the US, but with all the other things Crunchyroll does, the company can have a great deal of control over the entire industry.

The Nikkei Asian Review reported in October that Sony was in final negotiations to acquire Crunchyroll, and the newspaper reported at the time that Sony could end up spending more than 100 billion yen ($ 957 million).

Information in August stated that AT&T had offered Crunchyroll to Sony for $ 1.5 billion, and Sony rejected the price, which actually puts the streaming service at $ 500 per subscriber.

A few days later, AT&T fixed a asking price of at least $ 1 billion to sell the Crunchyroll service, and AT&T marketed the service to many potential buyers other than Sony.

Crunchyroll was launched in 2006 as a streaming service that offers anime without permission, received $ 4.05 million in its first funding round, and began licensing the broadcast in 2008.

The Chernin Group acquired a majority stake in Crunchyroll in December 2013, and Chernin Group and AT&T formed the joint venture Otter Media in 2014.

Otter Media invested another $ 22 million in Ellation, Crunchyroll’s parent company, in November 2015, and in August 2018 AT&T announced that it had acquired Otter Media.

The service reached more than one million subscribers in February 2017, more than two million subscribers in October 2018, more than three million subscribers in July 2020, and more than four million subscribers in February.

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