Life&Culture

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

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

Comcast has abandoned its bid to acquire 21 Century Fox, clearing the path for Disney to move ahead with its planned acquisition of the studio's assets. The Walt Disney Co. had topped Comcast's bid by offering $71 billion.

In another statement, Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said, "I'd like to congratulate Bob Iger and the team at Disney and commend the Murdoch family and Fox for creating such a desirable and respected company". On CNBC, Disney's Iger said he was "extremely pleased with today's news". As it happens, Fox is also in talks to purchase a bit of Sky before the Disney deal is finished, so the drama isn't completely over with. Comcast has announced that they are no longer going to pursue Fox, meaning that Disney's current bid is going to stick and, assuming Disney gains the remaining approvals they need, the sale will be a done deal.

However, the battle between Disney and Comcast might not be over quite yet.

So, Comcast turned its attention skyward, increasing its offer for the European satellite distributor to £14.75 a share last week, valuing the company at $34 billion. The Fox assets being acquired include a cable group with FX Networks, National Geographic and 300-plus global channels, plus Fox's stake in Hulu. They are set to pay $52 billion for Fox and all of the assets that come with it, with the big exception of Fox News, Fox's broadcast networks, and its sports channels.

Comcast didn't have further comment beyond the release, but said that it's the high bidder and has posted its offer document.

Netflix plunges as subscriber growth disappoints
Following the announcement, the stock was down about 14% at $346.00 in Monday's after-hours session. As of June 30, Netflix had 130 million subscribers, including 57.4 million in the US.


That doesn't mean Comcast is done trying to buy media properties, however.

Comcast's stock rose more than 2.5 per cent in Thursday premarket trading.

"Sky does have an impressive collection of proprietary affiliate deals, Premier League Football is only the most notable", Moffett writes.

However, smaller media companies could become acquisition targets.

A top U.S. Justice Department official, Makan Delrahim, praised the deal as being carefully sculpted to avoid antitrust concerns, signaling federal regulators were unlikely to block it.


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