Comcast launches $65bn bid to steal Murdoch's Fox away from Disney


That was the signal Comcast was waiting for to make its move to outbid Disney for such Fox assets as FX Networks, National Geographic, a 30-percent stake in Hulu, and the 20th Century Fox film and television production studios, which include the movie rights for the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool.

"We hope this is precautionary only, as we expect to work together to reach an agreement over the next several days", Comcast says.

Other companies considering acquisitions have been eyeing the case as a bellwether on whether their mergers would go unchallenged.

Roberts said he had been "disappointed" that Fox had entered into negotiations with Disney but was "highly confident" that his new offer would be approved by regulators.

The Fox board was scheduled to vote on whether or not to accept the Disney deal on July 10, so we may be in for a flurry of new bids over the next few weeks.

As part of the deal, Disney pledged to seek full ownership of Sky.

AT&T won a court victory over skeptical US antitrust regulators on Tuesday when a federal judge allowed it to buy Time Warner for $85 billion, which was widely taken as a green light for Comcast to submit its expected bid.

The bid sets up a fight with Disney, which announced its own plan to acquire those businesses previous year.

Comcast launches $65bn bid to steal Murdoch's Fox away from Disney
Comcast launches $65bn bid to steal Murdoch's Fox away from Disney

Makan Delrahim, assistant attorney general for antitrust, recently signalled that regulators were open to the combination.

"We believe yesterday's decision in the AT&T case supports our confidence", Comcast chief financial officer Mike Cavanagh said on the conference call. The ruling suggests that Trump's Department of Justice wouldn't be able to stop a Comcast/Fox deal.

More news as we hear it. Back in December, it was announced that Disney was looking to grab the assets for $52 billion.

21st Century Fox originally rejected the $60 billion Comcast offer due to concerns that the federal government might block such a deal.

However, Comcast refused to walk away, and had been closely watching the outcome of a court case in the United States, in which the Trump administration was attempting to block Comcast rival AT&T's takeover of Time Warner.

The growth of streaming and shrinking footprint of cable TV has created an atmosphere of companies loading up on media to do battle with Netflix and the rest of the internet. Time Warner shares are up about 5% at $100.91.

John Bergmayer of the consumer group Public Knowledge said any Comcast deal should face scrutiny, especially in light of the expiration of provisions from its 2011 takeover of NBCU. He said the merger "would unlawfully raise prices for cable-TV subscribers and harm online innovation". They have been increasingly calling for the government to break up Silicon Valley giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon and to prevent greater consolidation in health care, media, transportation and agriculture.

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