It appears that Disney will soon be acquiring 21st century Fox after Comcast dropped out of its bidding war today. The news was announced via a statement released by Comcast. “I’d like to congratulate Bob Iger and the team at Disney and commend the Murdoch family and Fox for creating such a desirable and respected company,” Comcast chairman-CEO Brian Roberts said.
This paves the way for the $71.3 billion deal agreed upon by Disney and 21st Century Fox to move forward. Disney would gain control over 21st Century Fox’s assets that include 20th Century Fox film and TV studio, FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, and Fox’s 30% stake in Hulu.
“Comcast does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of the Twenty-First Century Fox assets and, instead, will focus on our recommended offer for Sky,” Comcast said in the statement released on Thursday.
The assets of the London based Sky are still being contested by Fox and Comcast, which also now includes Disney by association. Comcast has indicated that it will still be pursuing Sky. At this point, Comcast has offered $34 billion for the company as bids continue to get higher. It is expected that Fox will try to top this bid. The Sky board has currently endorsed the Comcast bid so if Fox is going to make a bid, it will have to be within 60 days of the Comcast bid on July 11th.
Disney has indicated that the acquisition of Sky is a key component in its strategy to be a global streaming content provider for both movie and TV content. Sky has a solid reach in Europe, one that both Disney and Comcast would like.
What do you think about this development in Disney’s quest to acquire 21st Century Fox?