Merger of Hollywood talent agencies CAA and ICM draws DOJ scrutiny

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The Department of Justice is probing a significant Hollywood deal that’s poised to disrupt the talent company ecosystem and leisure trade, in keeping with a report.

The DOJ is scrutinizing CAA’s acquisition of ICM, two main Hollywood talent agencies that symbolize some of Tinseltown’s largest stars, in keeping with The Hollywood Reporter.

CAA, the company that reps Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Scarlett Johansson, revealed in September that it will purchase ICM, house of Shonda Rhimes, Alec Baldwin and Uma Thurman, noting that the deal would shut by the top of 2021.

But a brand new inquiry by the DOJ over how the merger between two main agencies would influence the Hollywood panorama, has delayed the deal, which is now anticipated to shut within the second quarter of this 12 months, nameless sources instructed THR late Wednesday.

CAA, ICM and the DOJ didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

ICM's headquarters in LA.
CAA’s deal to accumulate ICM, the fourth largest company behind WME, CAA and UTA, is going through DOJ scrutiny.
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If a deal between CAA and ICM closes, the talent company panorama would have three main gamers in Endeavor-owned WME, CAA and UTA, together with smaller rivals like APA, Gersh and Paradigm.

The DOJ’s antitrust division, led by Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter, has already interviewed prime executives at CAA and ICM in addition to some outsiders like APA CEO Jim Gosnell, a supply instructed THR.

The probe could have been launched after Hollywood unions such because the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA voiced their considerations, the supply stated.

CAA's Bryan Lourd
CAA’s Bryan Lourd stated he was “very confident” that the ICM acquisition would undergo, however now, it seems the deal’s cut-off date has been pushed again amid DOJ scrutiny.
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After the CAA-ICM deal was initially introduced, SAG-AFTRA nationwide government director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland stated in an announcement that the union would “carefully scrutinize this combination of two storied talent agencies to ensure that performers will benefit from, and are not disadvantaged by, the deal.”

When THR reached out to CAA in September, co-chairman Bryan Lourd stated he was “very confident” the deal would undergo. But the DOJ antitrust division and the Federal Trade Commission has been crucial of the excessive quantity of M&A exercise below President Biden.

CAA's LA headquarters
CAA’s Century City headquarters in Los Angeles. The company represents A-listers like Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep and George Clooney.
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The DOJ sued to dam ViacomCBS’ sale of e book writer Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House, citing considerations that the deal would give “outsized influence over who and what is published, and how much authors are paid for their work.”

There can be a slew of different offers which will pique considerations. They embrace Discovery’s deal to merge with WarnerMedia, Amazon’s acquisition of Hollywood studio MGM, and the merger of Spanish-language media giants Univision and Televisa.

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