Comcast makes $65B bid for 21st Century Fox assets, nudging out Disney
Jun 14 2018 by Francis Osborne
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. "The question is whether Disney is ready because unlike in 2004, Comcast is in it to win!"
"The deal floodgates will now open", one investment banker told Breitbart News.
Comcast today offered to match the $2.5 billion breakup fee that Disney previously agreed to.
Comcast made a $65-billion U.S. bid Wednesday for Fox's entertainment businesses, setting up a battle with Disney to become the next mega-media company. Now that yesterday's AT&T ruling will ease the approval pathway for a Comcast deal, Fox may need to take another look at any Comcast offer.
The Fox board was scheduled to vote on whether or not to accept the Disney deal on July 10, so we may be in for a flurry of new bids over the next few weeks.
Now that the ruling went in the merger's favor, sources claim that a Comcast-Fox acquisition will be announced any moment now.
Trump spoke out against the deal when it was announced in October 2016.
The ruling is also a major blow to Donald Trump's Justice Department. But the big cable and media group Comcast is expected to offer a higher bid.
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While that might be bad news for Disney's stock holders, it seems like the Marvel fans are taking it a bit worse as their hopes to see the X-Men franchise join up with the Avengers could be dashed to the wind. Comcast's official counterproposal now pressures Disney to come up with a higher offer for Fox - lest it have compelling entertainment assets slip through its hands at a time when technology giants are storming Hollywood, forcing traditional media companies to bulk up.
AT&T countered in court papers that the merger would allow it to compete better with Netflix, Amazon, Google and other companies that offer online video.
Comcast said it meant to pursue its $30 billion acquisition of Sky Plc (SKYB.L) in parallel with its Fox bid.
The merger, which is set to be completed June 21, would create a massive new media company, combining AT&T's cable TV, satellite TV, and cellular telephone networks with the media giant that owns the Warner Bros. movie studio as well as the cable TV channels CNN and HBO.
With or without Time Warner, AT&T is very focused on its media business.
Fox, whose biggest shareholder is media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, has a 39% stake in Sky and has been trying to buy it outright, with the intention of selling the full company to Disney as part of that deal. The merged companies could withhold programming from competitors, pressuring consumers to switch to AT&T services.
Comcast first approached Fox previous year with an informal proposal.
"We continue to believe that the pay-TV market will be less competitive and less innovative as a result of the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner", he said in a statement. Rather than negotiating an agreement that imposes conditions on how AT&T can conduct business, Delrahim demanded AT&T sell businesses to address threats to competition, which the company refused to do.