Sony’s plan to combine Crunchyroll and Funimation It seemed so easy to throw a billion dollars to AT&T. But now the plan is reportedly so worrying that the U.S. Department of Justice is expanding its antitrust review of the $ 1.175 billion purchase to a full investigation, according to three sources spoke with The information.
The DOJ is focused on whether the deal will limit Japanese studios’ ability to license shows in the United States The informationSwell. “WarnerMedia and Sony have told the Justice Department that Crunchyroll and Sony’s burgeoning anime empire are just two of the many ways that anime creators have to spread their shows outside of Japan.” The information writes, but even if direct competition isn’t a problem, there might be other reasons to worry.
Controlling Funimation and Crunchyroll means one thing related to anime streaming services in the US, but along with all the other things Crunchyroll does, like manga publishing and anime conventions, and the international anime companies that do Sony has already bought it in Australia and Francethe company could have a huge amount of Control over the entire industry.
As we wrote in 2019, Funimation and Crunchyroll were already two of the biggest streaming anime services outside of Japan, while big players like Amazon, Netflix and even the newer HBO Max have also spiced up their offers with anime. If the DOJ doesn’t block Sony’s deal and manage to bring Crunchyroll and Funimation together, Sony could very easily become the anime streaming provider to beat.
Sony, AT&T, and the DOJ did not immediately respond to requests for comment.