Comcast bows out of Fox deal, thus ceding victory to Disney

Ding ding ding! The fight is over! And the winner, in the red trunks, is Mickey Mouse!

After a battle that could have gone on for longer than anyone wanted it to, Comcast has officially dropped its bid for a large majority 21st Century Fox’s media assets, making Disney the victor of the bidding war. Should it clear the final regulatory hurdles in front of it, that means the House of Mouse will control the film and television properties, most notably major franchises like X-MEN, AVATAR and THE SIMPSONS

Comcast put out a statement on their withdrawal, saying, “Comcast does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of the Twenty-First Century Fox assets and, instead, will focus on our recommended offer for Sky.” Comcast recently upped its bid for the European TV giant Sky to $34 billion, outdoing the bid from Fox.

This comes after Disney offered $71.3 billion for Fox in cash and stock, outdoing Comcast’s $65 billion cash offer, which itself was meant to outdo Disney’s initial $52 billion offer back in December. Comcast has been expected to drop out of the acquisition after Disney increased their bid and received approval for the deal by the Department of Justice. On top of that, it’s expected the stock offering was much more appealing for the Murdoch family (owners of Fox), who have more faith in the long-term viability of Disney.

Matters have also been more complicated for Comcast after the DOJ’s move to appeal a court ruling that approved AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner. Altogether, things looked all too good for Disney’s victory, leading many to believe Comcast had no choice but to bow out of the deal. Now the way is clear for Disney to own X-MEN, DEADPOOL, networks like National Geographic and FX, as well as Fox's 30% stake in Hulu, giving Disney a controlling 60% stake. 

This is not a confirmation that Disney will indeed acquire everything it wants from Fox. Although the DOJ approved the acquisition there are numerous other regulatory hurdles they have left to overcome. Many are worried this could be the sign of Disney forming a monopoly on the entertainment industry, with financial analyst Barton Crockett saying the company could become the “Walmart of Hollywood” recently. Disney and Fox shareholders will vote on the acquisition on July 27.

Source: DeadlineTHR
Tags: Comcast, disney, Fox



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