Business executives in the technology and media sectors arrived on Tuesday at the 2018 Allen and Company Sun Valley Conference. The high-profile event takes place amid the fresh trade strikes made by the US against China.
The Allen and Company’s annual assembly officially started with a Western motif and a barbecue early in the evening. The summer event is held at breathtaking Sun Valley, a resort town in Idaho. The popular ski area is lined with wildflower-proliferate meadows, equestrian routes, and mountain trails, making it idyllic as a billionaires’ summer camp.
Arriving with his wife, Jerry Hall, Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch is attending the by-invitation-only event as well as his former colleague, Robert Thomson, the former CEO of the now-defunct News Corporation.
Furthermore, Comcast head Brian L. Roberts was also sighted, cheerfully waving to journalists and tersely remarking that it was “a beautiful day.”
Other technology and media luminaries present in the week-long meeting are:
- Apple CEO Tim Cook
- Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger
- Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg
- Media mogul Michael Bloomberg
- Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi
- CBS Corporation Vice-chairwoman Shari Redstone
- Sony chairman Kaz Hirai
At the mountain retreat, the most talked-about subject for this year is the competing bids of Comcast and Walt Disney for the entertainment assets of Murdoch-controlled 21st Century Fox.
Apparently, Disney is the most probable firm to close the deal at this point, with its cash-and-stock proposal pegged at $71.3 billion.
Discovery president David Zaslav and SoftBank Group founder Masayoshi Son expressed their views regarding the Fox deal.
Son, who is at the helm of the Japanese holding conglomerate and has been known to have distanced himself from competing bids for traditional media assets, remarked that he possessed no funds for deals.
Former AOL CEO Steve Case shared words of wisdom based on his personal experience of the historic merger reckoned as the most hapless.
Quoting the phonograph and incandescent electric light bulb pioneer, Thomas Edison, Case quipped, “Vision without execution is hallucination.” He remarked that a merger can thrive if the foci were on culture and the people.
The yearly conference is well-known as a breeding ground for some of the historic and important business agreements.
Among the examples of these technology and media deals are the star-crossed alliance between Time Warner and America Online and Disney’s acquisition of ABC/Capital Cities in 1995.