The Supreme Court yesterday refused to block the $7.5 billion purchase of the American entertainment company, MCA Inc., by Matsushita, Japan's largest electronics company.
Justice Antonin Scalia, acting without a written opinion, first rejected an emergency request by Go-Video Inc. to block consummation of the deal set for Saturday. Go-Video then turned to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who referred the matter to his colleagues.
The court announced last night that all nine justices, again acting without a written opinion, had refused to act.
Go-Video sought a postponement until a formal antitrust challenge could be mounted. A federal judge in Arizona and the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals previously had turned down Go-Video's request.
Matsushita is familiar to American consumers through brand names such as Panasonic, Technics and Quasar. MCA, which runs Universal Studios, has grown into a colossus of films ("E.T. the Extra-Terrestial," "Jaws," "Back to the Future"), record albums (Reba McEntire, Elton John, Guns N' Roses) and television shows ("Murder, She Wrote," "Major Dad"). It also owns theme parks in Florida and California.
In seeking to block the purchase, Go-Video contended that Matsushita's takeover would lessen competition in the "software" industry.
In rejecting that argument last week, U.S. District Judge Robert Broomfield in Phoenix said, "I'm simply not persuaded that the proposed merger is necessarily anti-competitive."