Comcast Makes $65 Billion All-Cash Bid for Fox, Tops Disney's Offer

Comcast Makes $65 Billion All-Cash Bid for Fox, Tops Disney's Offer

Variety is reporting that Comcast has offered $65 billion for 21st Century Fox's TV and studio assets, significantly topping Disney's bid by $12.6 billion - a substantial margin. Whoever wins the bid, should it be accepted by both companies, will acquire much of Fox's film and TV assets, as well as its global holdings (including stakes in Sky and in Star India) and its stake in Hulu.

The US cable kingpin officially made its offer on Wednesday to acquire 21st Century Fox in an all-cash deal worth $65bn. Comcast, Disney and Fox all own interests in streaming giant Hulu, so either deal would boast a challenge to Netflix, although Disney plans to start its own separate streaming service in Fall 2019. A vote on Disney's offer is set for July 10th, though Fox issued a statement today claiming they have yet to decide whether or not they will postpone this vote. Comcast waited to make their second bid a day after a federal judge approved a merger between AT&T and Time Warner.

"We have long admired what the Murdoch family has built at 21st Century Fox", wrote Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, in a letter addressed to Rupert, Lachlan and James Murdoch (via Deadline). CNN is a unit of Time Warner.

So, we were disappointed when 21CF made a decision to enter into a transaction with The Walt Disney Company, even though we had offered a meaningfully higher price.

Assuming a Comcast bid for that amount is put forward, Disney would likely be forced to raise its bid.

On a conference call with Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure earlier this year, T-Mobile CEO John Legere - who would lead the new company - told reporters and analysts that the deal will create a "pro-consumer, strongly disruptive, revved-up competitor".

More news: French Farmers Plan to Blockade Total Refineries and Fuel Depots

Disney itself has "surgically" structured a transaction that "might be doable", avoiding Fox Broadcasting and big Fox sports channels, US antitrust chief Makan Delrahim said last week. Comcast stock dropped as much as 1.6% immediately after the announcement was released just after 4 p.m. ET, and Disney was down as much as 0.4%.

Yesterday, the Department of Justice suffered its first antitrust loss in court since 2004, paving the way for AT&T to merge with Time Warner and opening the floodgates for similar mergers in the near future.

Fox previously rejected an offer from Comcast, reportedly because it was concerned about getting regulatory approval. The nation's largest cable TV firm has been waiting for a ruling on the AT&T-Time Warner merger before announcing a formal bid for Fox.

Comcast, the USA media conglomerate, has submitted another offer to buy parts of 21st Century Fox, after getting rebuffed past year in favour of Disney.

After the decision, Mr Petrocelli said: "We were surprised when the case was brought and as I said in closing arguments, it's a case that never should have been brought".

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