Sometimes the wheels of government turn quickly


Was it the threatened government shutdown? (Which didn’t happen.) Or were the nation’s antitrust watchdogs moving quickly because the company at issue was under bankruptcy court protection? In any case, the antitrust approval of Dish Network’s purchase of Blockbuster just breezed through.

“We are pleased to report that earlier today U.S. antitrust authorities granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act in connection with our pending purchase of substantially all of the assets of Blockbuster, Inc. We commend the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission for their expeditious completion of the review process, and we anticipate closing the Blockbuster transaction on April 21, 2011,” Dish announced on Friday (4/8).

The $320 million deal was welcomed on Wall Street. Click here to read why Wells Fargo Securities analyst Marci Ryvicker called it “a positive” for Dish.

RBR-TVBR observation: Pretty hard to find any antitrust obstacles to this deal. Blockbuster doesn’t own any satellites and Dish doesn’t currently sell movies in stores or online. But the DOJ and FTC should be applauded for recognizing that and quickly clearing the way for a deal that will salvage the business operations and jobs remaining at Blockbuster.