The creation of the Vivendi-Seagram ’Media Powerhouse’ last week
left the media intrigued with what the future holds for the largest and
most ambitious transatlantic takeover in media history.
Vivendi Universal, as it will be known, will combine traditional media
and entertainment with new technologies, culminating in next-generation
Reactions were cautiously positive towards the deal’s promotion of the
benefits of globalisation. Critics speculated that Vivendi chief
executive Jean-Marie Messier was hasty, ’with fantasies of entertainment
moguldom getting in the way of smart business strategy’ (the
Independent, 22 June).
Despite an immediate drop in share prices, Messier is confident that the
long-term business strategy will justify any short-term loss. It is this
attitude that gained him headlines like ’Where egos dare’ (the Sunday
Times, 25 June).
But whether a new company can fully integrate and overcome the cultural
obstacles of a Hollywood business managed in Paris, remains to be
Analysis and commentary by Echo Research.
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