Mukesh Ambani’s Big Media Move: A Rs 70,000 Crore Deal with Disney India

Mukesh Ambani, the wealthiest individual in India with a staggering net worth of Rs 9,75,906 crore, continues to make headlines. His empire, built through Reliance Industries, India’s most valuable company boasting a market cap of Rs 20,12,000 crore, spans across various sectors. Recently, Ambani’s focus has been on expanding his presence in the media industry.

The Massive Deal: Reliance and Disney Join Forces

In a landmark move, Mukesh Ambani’s firm has signed a colossal deal with Disney India, creating a media giant valued at Rs 70,000 crore. This merger has already received the green light from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), and the next step is seeking antitrust clearance. According to a Reuters report, Reliance and Disney are confident that their combined strength won’t negatively impact advertisers.

Mukesh Ambani Navigating the Regulatory Maze

Despite the companies’ confidence, the merger is expected to undergo thorough scrutiny. Both Reliance and Disney hold significant digital and TV cricket rights, including those for the Indian Premier League (IPL) and International Cricket Council (ICC) matches, some of the most lucrative cricket tournaments globally. This leverage over advertisers and consumers has raised concerns among experts.

KK Sharma, former head of mergers at the Competition Commission of India (CCI), suggested that the merged entity’s dominance could potentially impact the market. However, Reliance and Disney argue that their cricket rights were acquired through a competitive bidding process. They assure that competitors will have opportunities to bid for these rights again in 2027 and 2028. The CCI is now reviewing their confidential filing, a process that typically takes several weeks but could extend if additional information is required.

The Future of Indian Media: What’s Next?

As part of this massive deal, Reliance has committed to investing Rs 11,500 crore into the new media entity. Once the merger is complete, the combined Star-Viacom18 entity will oversee more than 100 TV channels and two streaming platforms—Disney+ Hotstar and JioCinema.

Mukesh Ambani’s wife, Nita Ambani, will take the helm as chairperson of this new media powerhouse, with seasoned media executive Uday Shankar supporting her as vice-chairperson. This dynamic leadership duo is set to steer the entity towards a promising future in the media landscape.

This deal not only signifies a major shift in the Indian media industry but also underscores Mukesh Ambani’s ambition to dominate yet another sector. As the CCI deliberates, the industry watches closely, anticipating the impact of this merger on the competitive landscape of Indian media.

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