Media companies, already jolted by sweeping changes in how people watch video and read print, now will have to tangle with the changes wrought by the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the U.S.
Television and film stocks led by Disney (DIS) , 21st Century Fox (FOXA) and CBS (CBS) were trading lower on Wednesday amid concerns that marketers could cut back on spending and that changes in trade and foreign relations could upend the global economy, cutting demand for media offerings.
Furthermore, regulators in a Trump administration may be less likely to approve large-scale mergers such as AT&T's (T) agreement last month to acquire Time Warner (TWX) in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $85 billion. The Department of Justice also has yet to rule on Lions Gate Entertainment's (LGF) acquisition of Starz (STRZA) , a $4.4 billion deal announced in June.
"No one knows what will happen to the AT&T-Time Warner merger because it's a completely different world altogether than the one that approved Comcast buying NBCUniversal," said Shahid Khan, founder of New York media industry software and data provider Mediamorph. "Whether they get approved or not is all up in the air."