AT&T’s WarnerMedia is trying to sell Crunchyroll to Sony, which already owns Funimation an attempt to lower their $148 Billion of debt. When it comes to western localization they definitely own a huge chunk of the anime. Sony in recent years has acquired a number of anime distributors and streaming services including Funimation and they effectively own Aniplex. Netflix, Hulu, HiDive, and Amazon do have projects, but most of the stuff that many people go out of the way to watch is usually on Crunchyroll and Funimation. Now seeing Sony trying to own all of them, it’s a massive ordeal. This was getting startlingly close to a monopoly if not already crossing the line.
However, the US Department of Justice has extended its antitrust review of this deal into a full-on probe, this assessment of $1.2 billion might potentially kill this deal. This is due to the reason that the DOJ is concerned with this deal limiting the options the Japanese studio will have to license their shows in the US.
The Information writes, “AT&T’s WarnerMedia and Sony have advised the Justice Department that Crunchyroll and Sony’s budding anime empire are simply two of many choices anime creators should distribute their reveals exterior Japan”.
However this is not the case with the anime fans and other people familiar with the process, they believe Sony is trying to have an enormous quantity of management over the whole business. Sony already bought streamers in Australia, France, New Zealand, and the UK.