The once happily married, and currently divorced companies decided to not marry again. Sumner Redstone, owner of National Amusement, which owns both Viacom and CBS, and his daughter Shari decided to walk away from the deal. The Redstone's decided to keep Viacom independent and focus more on family.
Viacom runs many well known networks, many that you may watch or heard of:
Image source: http://www.viacom.com/brands/pages/default.aspx
CBS is of course, a broadcast station, but they also produce and distribute content. CBS also owns and operates many local television and radio stations around the United States. Much has changed within the media industry since CBS and Viacom split in 2006, and is drastically different since initally merging in 1999.
Here's the kicker though, the parent company of CBS is the same as Viacom's, National Amusements. Funny how that works, huh? National Amusements also owns Showcase Cinemas all around the globe.
With both companies being content producers and distributors, and having the same parent company, they're a perfect match. They're more of a match in today's media industry than they were in 1999's media industry, and even 2006's.
Viacom and CBS are still media giants by themselves, and have no doubt kept up with with industry as a whole since 2006. With multiple giant media mergers in the meantime, this almost seemed business as usual and competition at work. Comcast and NBCUniversal merged, AT&T & DirecTV, and just recently (not approved) AT&T and Time Warner just to name a few. It honestly seemed like Viacom and CBS were just keeping up with the industry.
This deal would have been appoved by the feds, due to the history of the two companies and the scale of the merger. Competition and market forces could easily be argued in favor of the merger due to recent megers within the industry.
It was reported though, according to Fox Business, that there still may be a deal sometime in the future. Again, it almost makes sense for these two to remerge, and it'll more than likely happen in the next 5 years. The reason it'll happen in the next 5 years is because, in just 2 years talk of the deal will rehash. Executives will end up meeting, board meetings will take place, and the industry will have since flown over them.
The deal will end up being accepted by both companies, roughly in 3 years, and it'll get passed along to the regulators, who will by then have seen and approved many deals like it. Lets shoot for 4 years, 2020, that Viacom and CBS will be one again.
Like stated above, the industry will since have flown over them in terms of potential busness models and products, but they'll still make money from it. Money, innovation, and customer satisfaction, that's what counts when doing deals like this. I'm sure they'll launch their own streaming pay-TV service, but I'm also sure one if not both companies will launch one on their own. You should also think Virtual Reality, many content and media companies are flocking to it, check out Pulsar's write up on Google Daydream.
In 2016 though, the Redstone's just weren't ready, could it be because Sumner Redstone is 95? Maybe, but only time will tell. Viacom has had many internal conflicts in recent months too, so that could be a potential reason. National Amusements could have another trick up their sleeve, who knows right now, the only thing that matters is Viacom and CBS will be seperate companies.
Fortune ran a headline today, saying "Here's Why Viacom Lost Almost $1 Billion in Market Value Today". It's not a good day to be a shareholder for either company, but definitely not Viacom. Click the "F", read the article.
Viacom and CBS stocks as of close today, not looking so hot: