Published: Fri, July 20, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Comcast drops bid for 21st Century Fox assets, letting Disney win

Comcast drops bid for 21st Century Fox assets, letting Disney win

However, it still leaves the two companies competing to expand in Europe via a bidding war for Sky, which is 39-percent owned by Fox.

Disney recently raised its offer for Fox's entertainment operations to $71bn, surpassing Comcast's $65bn bid.

Comcast Corp.is walking away from a hugely expensive takeover battle for 21st Century Fox with the Walter Disney Co. and will instead focus on buying European Sky satellite-TV business. 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. Despite the clearance, satellite pay-TV group Sky could still end up being bought by Comcast or Disney amid a USA media industry tug-of-war.

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"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", Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement. It was also anxious how much revenue it would lose in divesting assets to appease USA antitrust regulators.

One question still pending is who will emerge as a buyer for the regional sports networks owned by Fox, a $20 billion-plus portfolio whose sale is required by the DOJ. It would not include Fox News, the Fox broadcast network, the local TV stations it owns, or its sports networks. AT&T bought Time Warner last month for $81 billion.

The company would obtain 21st Century's film studio and television channels including FX, FXX, National Geographic along with global stations such as Star and Sky. The idea of a Comcast Fox deal is officially dead.

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Comcast is dropping its bid for Fox's entertainment businesses, paving the way for Disney to boost its upcoming streaming service by buying the studios behind "The Simpsons" and X-Men. 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.

Are you excited for Disney to finally acquire Fox?

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