Technology website The Information has reported that the U.S. Justice Department has extended its antitrust review of Sony’s proposed US$1.175 billion acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T. The Information notes that the review, which seeks to determine if the deal would give Sony dominance over anime streaming, could delay the sale by several months and could also potentially kill it.
Justice Department attorneys are reviewing the deal to see if it would give Japanese animation studios fewer options to distribute shows in the United States. The Information adds that the review could take six months or longer, and that if the department does not approve the merger, it could sue to block it.
Crunchyroll announced in December 2020 that Sony’s Funimation Global Group will acquire Crunchyroll. Sony reported that the purchase price will be US$1.175 billion, to be paid in cash at closing. The deal is still awaiting regulatory approvals and other conditions.