The Latest on Comcast’s challenge to Disney for Fox (all times local):
Twenty-First Century Fox says it has received Comcast’s unsolicited $65 billion offer for its assets and will review it.
Comcast and Disney are battling over Fox assets including its movie studios, cable networks and international business. The Fox television network and some cable channels including Fox News and Fox Business Network are not part of the deal.
Fox agreed to Disney’s earlier $52.4 billion offer for Fox in December and shareholders were set to vote on it on July 10. In a statement, Fox said it remains subject to its agreement with Disney and will “carefully review and consider” the Comcast proposal. It has not yet decided if it will postpone or cancel the July 10 vote on Disney’s offer.
Disney did not respond to a request for comment.
Comcast’s $65 billion cash offer for Fox’s entertainment businesses is higher than the $60 billion that pundits had been predicting. Experts are expecting Disney to make a counter offer.
GBH Insights analyst Dan Ives says Comcast’s higher-than-expected bid “speaks to Comcast really wanting these key assets.”
Content is becoming more important as ways to deliver content proliferate. If Comcast prevails, Fox channels such as FX and National Geographic would join Comcast’s CNBC, Bravo and SyFy.
Comcast says a federal judge’s ruling Tuesday allowing AT&T’s attempt to buy Time Warner to proceed, without selling off any major assets, paved the way for Comcast to go forward with its bid.
Disney’s stock offer was for $52.5 billion when it was made in December, though the final value will depend on the stock price at the closing.
Comcast is making a $65 billion bid for Fox’s entertainment businesses, setting up a battle with Disney to become the next mega-media company.
The bid comes just a day after a federal judge cleared AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner and rejected the government’s argument that it would hurt competition in cable and satellite TV and jack up costs to consumers for streaming TV and movies. The ruling signaled that Comcast could win regulatory approval, too; its bid for Fox shares many similarities with the AT&T-Time Warner deal.
Comcast says its offer is 19 percent higher than Disney’s all-stock deal.
The battle for Twenty-First Century Fox comes as traditional entertainment companies try to amass more properties to compete better with technology companies such as Netflix for viewers’ attention — and dollars.