20 July, 2018
During the last two months, Comcast and Disney went head-to-head for Fox's assets which included the Fox movie and TV studios, a 30 percent stake in the streaming service Hulu and a 39 percent share of Britain-based Sky.
The Walt Disney Company had upped its offer to 21st Century Fox from its originally agreed upon figure of $52 billion to $71.3 billion after Comcast tried its cash bid of $65 billion. On CNBC, Disney's Iger said he was "extremely pleased with today's news". Some Fox businesses, including Fox News Channel and the Fox television network, will remain with media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his family.
Comcast's chances of buying Fox got even worse on June 27 when the Department of Justice gave its approval to the Disney/Fox deal. So Disney and Comcast may yet have to duke it out in that regard down the road. It was also anxious how much revenue it would lose in divesting assets to appease US antitrust regulators. Last week, Comcast made a bid that values Sky at $US34 billion, compared with $US32.5 billion in Fox's offer.
Iger and Disney have coveted Fox's path into worldwide markets.
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Comcast didn't have further comment beyond the release, but said that it's the high bidder and has posted its offer document. Comcast has apparently decided the fight over Sky is more important than the fight over Fox, so the cable giant, that also owns NBC and Universal, will be looking to spend its money there.
Comcast's stock rose more than 2.5 per cent in Thursday premarket trading. The idea was to sell Sky to Disney as part of the broader deal.
However, smaller media companies could become acquisition targets.
The battle for Fox has seemed to come to an end to the delight of Disney CEO Bob Iger. The department filed its appeal against U.S. District Judge Richard Leon's decision to OK the $85.4 billion merger last week, despite Leon stating he didn't believe the government had "a likelihood of success" on merit of appeal.