The acquisition of the Philadelphia 76ers by Josh Harris’ group has been on hold since November 2020, and it seems like a new roadblock has emerged that could further delay the sale.
Initially, the NBA owners approved the sale of the 76ers to Harris’ group, which also includes David Blitzer, for $1.5 billion. However, the process has been slow as the sale is subject to approval from various agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Recently, the FTC sent Harris’ group a second request for information, which is a common occurrence in mergers and acquisitions when the agency needs more information to evaluate the deal’s impact on competition. This is a concerning development for Harris’ group as a second request usually implies a more thorough analysis that could take longer to complete.
The FTC’s move is likely related to the Harris group’s majority stake in Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE), which owns the 76ers, the New Jersey Devils, and Prudential Center. The group also has stakes in other sports properties, including Premier League team Crystal Palace, and esports team Dignitas.
The FTC is concerned that Harris’ group’s ownership of multiple sports entities could potentially lead to antitrust violations. The agency is evaluating whether the acquisition of the 76ers by Harris’ group would harm competition in the marketplace, particularly in the sports industry.
The FTC’s decision to launch a second request for information does not necessarily mean that the deal will be rejected. However, it does mean that there is a possibility that the acquisition could be delayed or even rejected.
Harris’ group has stated that they are working with the FTC to provide the requested information and are confident that the deal will eventually be approved. However, the delay caused by the second request for information is causing concern for 76ers fans and stakeholders.
The sale of the 76ers to Harris’ group was initially expected to close by the end of 2020, but the process has been slow-moving due to various hurdles. A delay caused by the FTC’s second request could prolong the uncertainty around the 76ers’ ownership, which could potentially impact the team’s performance and fan interest.
In conclusion, the emergence of a new roadblock in the sale of the Philadelphia 76ers to Josh Harris’ group is concerning for all involved parties. While the Harris group seems confident that the deal will eventually be approved, the delay caused by the FTC’s second request could potentially have a significant impact on the team’s future. 76ers fans and stakeholders will have to wait and see how this situation develops in the coming weeks and months.