Comcast $65bn bid sets up battle with Disney for Fox

Comcast $65bn bid sets up battle with Disney for Fox

The U.S. cable giant made an all-cash offer of $65 billion to acquire much of Fox's film and television assets, its worldwide holdings and its stake in the streaming service, Hulu. It's unclear at the present time if Fox will stick with the Disney deal or start a potential bidding war. Other assets included in the deal are cable networks such as TNT, TBS and Cartoon Network. "We are highly confident in our ability to finance the transaction, and our offer includes no financing-related conditions", Comcast said in a letter to Rupert Murdoch and his sons Lachlan and James.

President Trump has been screaming "fake news" and trying to break media conglomerates since he took office, but yesterday, the free press scored a "yuge" win as a federal judge approved a blockbuster merger of telecommunications titan AT&T and media giant Time Warner. While the Department of Justice could still appeal, Comcast seems to believe the gateway is open and made a decision to go in with a heavy hand in regards to 21st Century Fox. A meeting with 21st Century Fox shareholders on July 10 to discuss the offers will further cement the company's fate. 21st Century Fox already agreed in December to sell those assets to Disney, which include all of the movie studio 20th Century Fox, a stake in Hulu, their stake in global broadcaster Sky and many regional sports channels, among other assets.

In the UK, Disney and Comcast are now battling to take over Sky plc, the owner of Sky News. The Comcast bid represents a 19% "premium" over the Disney bid, and is all-cash compared to Disney's all-stock offer, although Disney's all-stock offer will not be subject to capital gains tax for Fox shareholders, making the value of the stock deal somewhat better than it appears on paper.

When a federal judge rejected the Justice Department's suit against the Time Warner deal, it was seen as an endorsement of so-called vertical mergers - combinations that include both media distribution and the programming itself.

"Compare today to the 50s or 60s when we had three television stations and you had one AT&T that was, then, protected by government monopoly", Crews said.

Comcast readying new bid for 20th Century Fox film and TV assets

Comcast also is making an ambitious push in Europe that centers on United Kingdom pay TV provider Sky.

Number three wireless carrier T-Mobile, meanwhile, is seeking a tie-up with number four Sprint. For instance, AT&T could charge other content providers (including Verizon, which owns HuffPost's parent company, Oath) artificially high prices to air the cable channels it acquired through Time Warner.

Critics pointed out that the deal wouldn't be the end of such massive mergers, and may in fact open the doors to similar acquisitions among other companies. Comcast's shares fell 4%, as the price for winning the assets likely just increased.

Disney reached an agreement in principle to purchase Fox's film and television properties, as well as its stake in streaming platform Hulu and European news outlet Sky, for $52.4 billion in stock.

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