Culture&Arts

Comcast bids $65 billion for 21st Century Fox assets

Comcast bids $65 billion for 21st Century Fox assets

After all, Disney is big, but Disney is mostly an entertainment conglomerate, whereas Comcast is an industry that provides services to consumers.

The Fox television network and some cable channels including Fox News and Fox Business Network would stay with Murdoch's family under either deal, as with the newspaper and book businesses under a separate company, News Corp. The $85 billion deal can now proceed.

The cable provider originally held back on bidding for Fox's production assets until a federal judge on Tuesday approved AT&T's so-called vertical merger with Time Warner.

President Donald Trump also once weighed in on the deal, commenting that an AT&T victory would put too much power "in the hands of too few" ― but many speculated that his aversion to the merger had more to do with his issues with CNN than anything else (Turner Broadcasting is CNN's parent company). No decision has been made on whether to delay a scheduled July 10 shareholder vote on Disney's offer.

Comcast and Disney say Fox would bring original material and worldwide reach that can help them compete.

Shares of Fox rose more than 7%, while Comcast sank about 3%.




Trump spoke out against the deal when it was announced in October 2016. The ruling suggests that Trump's Department of Justice wouldn't be able to stop a Comcast/Fox deal. They own a 17-percent stake and would face a multi-billion dollar capital gains tax bill by accepting an all-cash offer from Comcast, tax experts previously told Reuters. Marvel would get back the characters previously licensed to Fox, reuniting X-Men with the Avengers.

Leon - who presided over the Justice Department's suit against Comcast's acquisition of NBCUniversal that was settled with a consent decree - signaled his time table to announce his decision on AT&T for Tuesday at 4 p.m., giving the company and the Justice Department time to settle the case.

Initially, the companies planned to use a "selective enforcement" defense, alleging that the administration was blocking the deal because of Trump's disdain for CNN.

But after this latest development, it might not come to pass as Comcast has put together an impressive offer. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has talked about how a combined AT&T-Time Warner could create new possibilities for video distribution and grow existing streaming offerings like DirecTV Now and HBO Now.

Regulators in this country also have cleared Comcast's $30.7bn offer for the 61% of Sky that Mr Murdoch does not own. The decision now rests with Judge Leon because the Justice Department sued AT&T to block the merger.

"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. "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". 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.


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