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While the entertainment industry hasn't seen a 2017 megadeal on the scale of AT&T's $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner, that acquisition has remained on the minds of Hollywood and Wall Street (with no U.S. regulatory approval as of press time) all year. In the same vein, 21st Century Fox is still waiting for U.K. regulators to decide on its bid for full control of pay TV giant Sky. A key deal focus in 2017 has been on top talent, with Netflix luring Shonda Rhimes from ABC Studios and acquiring the comic book firm Millarworld. "We've seen a slowdown in big-ticket M&A as assets are scarce and valuations high," says Richard Parsons, senior vp corporate business, legal affairs and international production at Sony Pictures Television, who this year led the company's investment in Stolen Picture, the production banner set up by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. "Investments in talent, which take a longer-term view, make a lot of sense in this climate." THR's second annual list of the negotiators behind the year's biggest and most complex deals reveals an industry in transition, from Los Angeles to New York to Silicon Valley and beyond.
A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 1 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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