Sony’s goal of dominating the anime sector may be delayed or derailed, as reports suggest the US Justice Department has extended its anti-trust review into the Japanese conglomerate’s acquisition of Crunchyroll. The organisation announced plans to purchase the streaming service for $1.1 billion last year, but there are worries that the firm – which already owns Funimation and Aniplex – may be monopolising the market.
As reported by The Information – and picked up by Variety – the acquisition could be postponed by as much as six months, as the US Justice Department reviews whether the deal will provide Japanese studios with fewer means to distribute media in America. It’s worth noting that significantly larger streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime continue to invest in anime, so there is legitimate competition – in fact, the former is on track to become the market leader.
At the time of writing, Sony is yet to comment on the status of the acquisition. It’s always communicated that the buyout would be subject to regulatory approval, and has never put a timeline on the completion of the deal. If these reports are accurate, then it looks like the firm will be waiting a little longer before taking the reins – assuming, of course, that it’s able to proceed as planned at all.