Comcast dropping out of Twenty-First Century Fox bidding war

Comcast drops bid for 21st Century Fox assets

Comcast drops bid for 21st Century Fox, leaving entertainment powerhouse in the hands of Disney

Comcast said Thursday it will not pursue its bid for 21st Century Fox assets, opting to focus on its recommended offer for Britain's pay-TV Sky.

Disney recently raised its offer for Fox's entertainment operations to $71bn, surpassing Comcast's $65bn bid. By sitting back and letting Comcast and Disney compete in a bidding war, they've earned an additional $18.9 billion for their assets. On CNBC, Disney's Iger said he was "extremely pleased with today's news". Comcast has seemingly taken that advice, because the company is doing at least two of those things: Deadline says it has officially dropped out of the bidding process and ceded the deal to Disney. If Fox is successful, then Disney will end up owning all of Sky. When originally given a preference of who they'd like to sell to, the Murdoch Family preferred Disney over Comcast in large part due to the Iger's track record and the long-term story of Disney's stock.

Under the deal that Fox has with Disney, Murdoch must gain consent to raise his bid.

According to Variety, Comcast will instead focus on buying the European satellite TV provider Sky. Disney upped its offer in late June 2018 and it appears the price tag is just too high for Comcast (the parent company of NBC) to match. Last week, Comcast made a bid that values Sky at $34 billion, compared with $32.5 billion in Fox's offer.

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Murdoch also seemingly benefitted from President Trump's admiration; with the Disney merger sailing through most anti-trust reviews in a breathtaking six months. It would not include Fox News, the Fox broadcast network, the local TV stations it owns, or its sports networks. Fox owns the other 39% of Sky. For geeks, that means Disney looks to acquire everything from the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Alien, Avatar, and Planet of the Apes.

Indeed, Comcast stock was up 2.8 percent in pre-market trading to about $35 a share. The U.S. Department of Justice last month approved Disney's deal with Fox.

For Comcast, a Sky deal would make it the world's largest pay-TV operator - it is already the biggest in the USA - and at a stroke reduce its nearly total dependence on the United States for revenues.

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