Timeline of Media Mega Mergers (1986-2004)
Timeline of Media Mega Mergers (1986-2004)

Below is a summary of major media mergers and acquisitions that took place from the 1980’s through 2004 (Common Cause, 2004).

January 1986 buys  for $3.5 billion. Capital Cities/ABC Inc. is created. 
June 1986   purchases , parent company of and NBC television network for $6.4 billion. At this time, it was the largest non-oil acquisition in U.S. history.
November 1989  buys for $3.4 billion. 
January 1990    merges withcreating ,world’s biggest media conglomerate ($14.1 billion merger). 
January 1991  Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. of Japan purchase   for $6.9 billion. 
September 1993  buys , parent company of   for $1.1 billion. This was the biggest  takeover in U.S. newspaper history. 
March 1994  purchasesfor $8.4 billion
July 1994  After winning a bidding war against QVC Inc,,acquires  for $10 billion.  
June 1995  purchases  from Matsushita (Japanese corporation) for $5.7 billion. The new entity is called .   
November 1995  acquiresfor $5.4 billion. 
February 1996  buys Capital Cities/ABC for $19 billion. A new media conglomerate in movies, television and publishing is created. 
October 1996   merges with (a $7.6 billion merger). 
December 1996  Two of the biggest radio station operators combine: Westinghouse Electric Corp.’s CBS unit buys Infinity Broadcasting Co. for $4.7 billion 
December 1997  Westinghouse Electric Corp. changes its name to   . after selling its traditional businesses, including power-generated equipment and light bulbs. 
December 1998  The largest initial public offering (IPO) in the media industry:  sells 17 percent of Infinity Broadcasting Corp., raising $2.9 billion dollars. 
December 1998   purchases for $10.4 billion. 
August 1999   agrees to buy , the leading syndicator of television programs, for $2.5 billion. 
September 1999  announces deal to purchase for $81.5 billion. This is one of the largest media deals in U.S. history. 
October 1999  announces a $23 billion dollar takeover of the number two radio chain, AMFM. 
January 2000  merger with . This is the largest-ever combination in the media industry ($135 billion merger) 
March 2000  (publishes Chicago Tribune) buys Times Mirror Co., (publisher of the Los Angeles Times)  for $6.5 billion.
June 2000   , and  merge. A fully integrated global media and communications company for the wired and wireless world is created.  
November 2000   buys   for $3 billion. 
October 2001  tries to become the dominant satellite television provider in the United States through a merger with    (a $25.8 billion deal).  In 2002, the U.S. Justice Department thwarted the merger. 
December 2001  French Media firm,buys for $10.3 billion. 
December 2001   merges with broadband unit. This $52 billion dollar merger will lead to a subscriber base of 22.3 million subscribers. 
April 2003   acquires control of (parent company of DirecTV.) for a $6.6 billion.
July 2003   acquires and its subsidiaries AltaVista and AlltheWeb  
September 2003  US regulators approve the $3.2 billion purchase  by  . The new company is the biggest U.S. Spanish-language television and radio networks provider. 
October 2003  is created through the combination of  and cable channels and GE’s .  This $43 billion entertainment powerhouse was created to compete leading entertainment companies, such as Walt Disney Co. and Viacom Inc. 
February 2004  buys  Wireless Services Inc. for $41 billion. This created the U.S.’s largest  mobile phone company. 
August 2004   is created by the merger of   and .  The new entity is jointly owned by the two companies (50/50). 
November 2004  buys , a top provider of business news and financial information, for $519 million. 


75 Media Mega Mergers. Common Cause.


 Next: Timeline of Media Mega Mergers (2005- )