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Comcast confirms it's in 'advanced stages' of prepping 'New Fox' bid

25 May, 2018, 21:41 | Author: Melinda Barton
  • Comcast Preparing

On Wednesday Comcast said it is "considering, and is in advanced stages of preparing", an offer for all the businesses that Fox agreed to sell to Disney in December.

This latest offer follows a previous one from Comcastreportedly totaling approximately $60 billion in cash, but the terms of the Disney deal were still more appealing to Fox's board of directors, who rejected the Comcast offer.

Any offer would be "all-cash and at a premium" to Disney's all-share offer, Comcast said in a statement.

Murdoch, who with his family controls 21st Century Fox, agreed to the tie-up in December that would give Disney the Fox studios in Hollywood along with Fox's worldwide TV operations and USA cable entertainment and regional sports channels.

It's also the latest in a dizzying period of merger moves in tech and media: In addition to Disney's deal for Fox, Comcast is trying to undermine Fox (yes, the same Fox) to win 61 percent of United Kingdom television company Sky TV, and AT&T is trying to buy TV programmer Time Warner despite government opposition.

With the Fox deal, Disney would get more content for those services - through the studios behind the Avatar movies, "The Simpsons" and "Modern Family", along with National Geographic. During an earnings call two weeks ago, executive chairman Lachlan Murdoch said the company would not "engage in a lot of speculation around this", though he added that Fox is "committed to our agreement with Disney". The stock declined 2.1% to $31.82 in early trading on Tuesday.

However, since the bid was accepted, Comcast has become a noisy competitor, offering a higher price for Fox.


"In our opinion [the deal] is integral to the streaming ambitions of [Bob] Iger [Disney chief executive] and Disney", said Ives. Disney and Comcast have already been at battle in the United Kingdom, where Comcast made a $30.7 billion offer for Sky TV.

For those unaware, Comcast is the parent company of Universal Studios and NBC Universal. Disney also is interested in owning Sky.

Fox had no immediate comment on the Comcast statement.

Seems Disney might not be able to waltz into a 21st Century Fox acquisition, after all.

The only reason Comcast is signaling an offer but not actually making one is that it is waiting on the all-determining decision expected June 12 in the AT&T-Time Warner antitrust case.

There's also the small matter of needing Fox shareholders' approval for any deal to go through.

Join host and corporate assassin, Jessica Chobot, as she gives us the details on Comcast's spoiler bid to steal Fox right out from under Disney. But if the government successfully shuts down the Time Warner merger, then Fox and Comcast probably won't be joining forces any time soon.

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