Encouraged by this week's AT&T merger victory, Comcast has formally made a $65 billion all-cash offer for 21st Century Fox's TV and film assets in a latest example of US merger mania under the Trump administration.
What's next? Well, Disney is expected to match Comcast's bid. "We are in our minds the right buyer with the superior proposal and as much or better certainty and commitments and safeguards for Fox and the Fox board that are the same as those provided by Disney".
The deal, if approved, would merge Comcast-owned Universal Studios and the NBC television network with Hollywood rival 20th Century Fox, Fox's cable entertainment networks and global TV businesses.
The deal doesn't include the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network. The deal would give Comcast all outstanding shares in 21st Century Fox at a price of $35 each.
Roberts said Murdoch had built "one of the world's great media and entertainment companies", and that its history was similar to that of Comcast's. Comcast's offer is about 19 percent higher than Disney's. It's a dramatic attempt to thwart Disney, which reached a $52.4 billion deal in December for the same film and TV assets. Both Comcast and Disney have their own stakes in Hulu, and whoever gets Fox would control the majority.
Comcast was in talks to buy Fox late a year ago. Conditions under considering reportedly considered an arbitration clause, requiring Time Warner to sell content to online distributors for reasonable prices, or spinning off a significant content division like Turner, the Time Warner subsidiary that owns CNN. I definitely feel like this Disney's bid makes the most logical sense, as the current cash difference in offers could potentially be made back many times over.
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Image: Disney also wants to buy Fox.
Update: Fox sent out a statement confirming that it has received the bid.
21st Century Fox originally rejected the $60 billion Comcast offer due to concerns that the federal government might block such a deal. "AT&T and Time Warner concluded that each had a problem the other could solve", he wrote.
If successful, the Comcast bid could dash many fans' dreams of one day seeing character reunions and crossovers from Marvel film franchises that have long separated under Disney and Fox's competing interests. Despite Comcast's higher offer, it's not immediately clear whether Fox's board would entertain it.
Judge Leon said the United States failed to prove the merger would give Time Warner increased power to negotiate fees for its content.