Sony cancels merger plans with Indian media giant Zee

Sony’s Indian division has abandoned its planned $10 billion merger with Zee Entertainment, which aimed to create one of India’s largest entertainment conglomerates.


Originally announced two years ago, the merger intended to unite over 75 television channels, film assets, and two streaming platforms.

Sony cited unmet merger conditions as the reason for the cancellation, while reports suggest a disagreement over leadership may have played a role.

The closing date for the deal was set for January 20, but Sony stated that the closing conditions were not satisfied by then.

The original plan designated Zee CEO Punit Goenka to lead the merged company, but Sony reportedly expressed dissatisfaction after India’s market regulator initiated an investigation into Goenka.

Zee TV.
Zee TV.

In response, Zee mentioned Sony’s pursuit of a $90 million termination fee due to alleged breaches of the merger terms but asserted that it “categorically denies” the allegations.

Zee is now considering all available options and emphasized its commitment to protecting the long-term interests of stakeholders, including potential legal action.

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Zee clarified that discussions about Goenka stepping down were held, reflecting efforts to facilitate the merger.

The collapsed deal impacts both companies’ ambitions to expand in the Indian market, particularly in the face of growing competition and the looming Disney-Reliance merger. India’s streaming market is gaining prominence, attracting global players like Netflix and Amazon, and the failed merger could intensify competition dynamics.



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