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Sony’s $10 billion media agreement in India comes to an unhappy end

A spectacular acquisition saga in one of the media businesses with the fastest rate of growth in the world is about to come to a tragic end.

The merger between Zee Entertainment, a Mumbai-based company, and Sony Group (SONY) has been canceled, the Japanese corporation announced on Monday.

According to analysts, the transaction, which was announced two years ago, would have established a $10 billion media company in India, giving it the financial resources to compete against both domestic rivals and international streaming behemoths like Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN).

Sony’s decision to halt negotiations coincides with discussions between Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries and Disney (DIS) about integrating their Indian media companies.

Sony stated that “the closing conditions to the merger were not satisfied” and that the termination of the definitive agreements for the merger “does not anticipate any material impact on its consolidated financial results.”

Although the unfulfilled terms were not mentioned, there were reportedly disagreements between the two businesses about who would serve as the combined company’s leader.

According to Reuters, Zee had suggested Punit Goenka, its CEO, manage the combined business, but Sony had objected since he was under investigation by India’s market watchdog.

Zee stated in a statement that it “is evaluating all the available options” after receiving the letter of termination. Additionally, the business stated that Zee is allegedly in breach of the merger agreements, and Sony is requesting a termination fee of $90 million.

The statement went on to say that Zee “categorically denies all the assertions… including their claims for the termination fee.”

The split occurs at a moment when the entertainment sector in India is becoming more competitive.

Global entertainment firms find the world’s most populous country appealing because to its comparatively free market and large English-speaking populace.

From currently ranking fifth, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi anticipates that the country would soon rise to the third position in the world media and entertainment sector.

In addition to strengthening the American company’s position in India, the Disney-Reliance agreement would create a gigantic organization with over 100 TV channels and two streaming platforms.

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