Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Antoinette Montgomery

Comcast challenges Disney with $65B bid for Fox

Comcast challenges Disney with $65B bid for Fox

As reported by CNBC, the global telecommunications conglomerate was willing to offer $60B in cash for the Rupert Murdoch-founded company.

In the UK, Disney and Comcast are now battling to take over Sky plc, the owner of Sky News.

Major sports and news assets including Fox News, Fox Business Network and Fox Sports would be spun off into a separate company. Comcast has also agreed to pay a $2.5 billion reverse breakup fee in case the acquisition actually does get squashed by the government.

As expected, a court win for AT&T's attempt to acquire Time Warner has produced another potential mega-acquisition.

U.S. cable giant Comcast has launched a $65bn cash bid for 21st Century Fox's entertainment businesses, setting up a battle with Disney which has offered $52bn in stock. A Comcast takeover of Fox would be similar to AT&T's so-called vertical merger with Time Warner in that it would combine two markedly businesses working at separate parts of the ecosystem.

Fox shareholders are set to vote on the Disney bid on July 10. Comcast said last month that its new offer would be at least as favorable to Fox shareholders as Disney's terms.

Shares of Fox rose more than 7%, while Comcast sank about 3%.

After Delrahim took over the division, he announced that the department would require asset sales to remedy harm to competition from vertical deals.

Today's ruling comes as part of the antitrust lawsuit levied by the Justice Department past year.

Fox, which is led by Rupert Murdoch and his sons, rejected an offer from Comcast previous year, citing concerns that antitrust officials would oppose a deal.

A merger between Fox and Comcast would create a company with a stable of well-known media brands and franchises, such as the X-Men superheroes.

Judy, the decision comes nearly two years after AT&T first announced its plan to buy Time Warner, and just one week before the companies face a deadline to complete the merger.

But after this latest development, it might not come to pass as Comcast has put together an impressive offer.

Disney CEO Bob Iger has repeatedly denied to comment on the deal itself, citing the ongoing regulatory process, but has expressed excitement about his company's plan for how to integrate the assets. Some suspected, however, that the real motivation behind the DOJ's case may be personal and political agenda of Donald Trump himself: He sees CNN as his political nemesis, and CNN is owned by Time Warner.

Leon said the government fell "far short" of showing that AT&T's new Turner Broadcasting unit would have increased leverage in negotiations with distributors. Comcast bid for Sky in April, after Fox's bid for the remainder of European pay-TV group it did not already own was delayed by regulators.

Fox acknowledged in a news release that it received Comcast's offer and said its board, attorneys and financial advisers will review it.

AT&T applauded the court's decision.

The Justice Department rarely sues to block a "vertical merger" such as the AT&T and Time Warner because they are not considered as economically risky as "horizontal mergers" - or ones in which a companies buys direct competitors such as T-Mobile's pending deal for Sprint.

Both Disney and Comcast could use Fox's TV and movie properties to stream more content directly to consumers and compete with Netflix.

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