Comcast offers $65 billion for Fox, outbidding Disney

Comcast challenges Disney with $65B bid for Fox

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Comcast's Roberts, who led a failed bid for Disney in 2004, now faces off against Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger, whose own dealmaking has added heroes from Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel comics to the home of Mickey Mouse. Fox's film and studio content was expected to serve as key components of Disney's upcoming branded streaming service, which is set for release in 2019.

The firm's promises include a $2.5bn fee for Fox if it decides against the takeover.

Comcast said it has offered $65bn (£48.6bn) in cash for Fox's film and television studios and global businesses.

A combination photo shows the Time Warner shares price at the New York Stock Exchange and AT&T logo in New York, NY, U.S., on November 15, 2017 and on October 23, 2016 respectively.

Comcast reportedly is looking to make an offer to purchase 21st Century Fox the day after AT&T's merger comes into play.

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A Comcast-Fox deal would be another vertical merger, like the AT&T-Time Warner deal.

Following reports last month that Comcast was lining up cash to attempt to woo Rupert Murdoch & Co. again, Disney CEO Bob Iger said, "We made a good deal, actually a deal that shareholders reacted quite favorably to and we're going to remain confident in our ability to close". (Again, AT&T's recent success seems to indicate that the government is fine with these huge acquisitions, so that may not be a factor.) Should Fox choose Comcast over Disney, Comcast will also pay Fox a $1.525 billion break-up fee that Fox would have to pay to Disney for backing out of their previous agreement.

The lawsuit against AT&T had sent a signal that the Trump administration's Department of Justice was taking a more hardline stance on such mega-deals. Marvel would get back the characters previously licensed to Fox, reuniting X-Men with the Avengers.

Comcast made a $65 billion offer for much of the Hollywood holdings of 21st Century Fox.

"We are pleased that, after conducting a full and fair trial on the merits, the Court has categorically rejected the government's lawsuit to block our merger with Time Warner", he said in a statement.

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But after this latest development, it might not come to pass as Comcast has put together an impressive offer.

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Some critics of President Trump have questioned whether the case was brought as political payback against Time Warner's CNN for unfavorable coverage of President Trump, who often called the cable news channel "fake news".

Regulators in this country also have cleared Comcast's $30.7bn offer for the 61% of Sky that Mr Murdoch does not own.

Still, the AT&T court fight gave Comcast valuable information about how to structure a Fox deal, said David Scharf, a litigation expert with Morrison Cohen. The Trump Justice Department had sued to block the $85 billion merger, arguing that it would hurt competition in cable and satellite TV and jack up costs to consumers for streaming TV and movies.

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"We believe AT&T's strategy to segment its video products (away from just the big bundle, and into four different linear/streaming-based tiers) is a very practical one that could open the door to new potential customers", said Deutsche Bank analyst Matthew Niknam in a research note.

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