Published: Wed, May 09, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Comcast might snag 21st Century Fox from Disney

Comcast might snag 21st Century Fox from Disney

On the flip side, Disney's largest unit, "media networks", saw a 6% decline in operating income for the quarter.

While Comcast being back in the picture will certainly get people talking, there's still one thing that could derail Comcast's intentions: the U.S. Department of Justice's case to block the Time Warner/AT&T merger.

However, that deal may soon be off the table, as Comcast has started a bidding war not only for the acquisition of the Britain based satellite group Sky, but reportedly began discussions to find a way to beat Disney to the punch in acquiring Fox.

For its part, Disney successfully outbid Comcast in December for a collection of assets that include Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000, along with the television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox 21. A similar deal underway involving Time Warner and AT&T is now under deliberation by the USA government.

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Disney is attempting to close a $52 billion bid for film, TV and worldwide businesses from Fox.

According to the WSJ report, Murdoch has told associates that he will not be moving to Disney and will return to venture capital and media investment, areas he was involved in before he took on the top executive roles at his father's media empire.

Separately, on another track, Comcast and Fox are each vying for full control of Sky and have lobbed in bids.

If the judge agrees to allow AT&T to acquire Time Warner, some thing Comcast could make a hostile bid for Fox assets because it would be more likely that a Comcast/Fox deal would be approved by regulators.

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This, Chaplin said, "would be the best of all possible outcomes".

Already the largest US cable TV company, Comcast would emerge with an even larger debt load, adding $100 billion to its balance sheet. Shares of Disney (DIS) closed Tuesday down 72 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $101.79 on the New York Stock Exchange. The cable company's chief financial officer, Michael Cavanagh, said on an earnings call late last month that Comcast was unlikely to use its stock to make deals.

21st Century Fox and Wall Street Journal-parent News Corp share common ownership.

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