Comcast Offers Rival Bid To Stop Disney From Buying Fox

Comcast only plans to proceed with the bid if a federal judge allows AT&T's planned $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner to proceed. Matt Rourke  AP

Comcast only plans to proceed with the bid if a federal judge allows AT&T's planned $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner to proceed. Matt Rourke AP

Comcast, the world's biggest entertainment company, stunned the industry in February when it made an informal bid for Sky, taking on Fox, which is in the final stages of its own bid to buy the 61 percent of Sky it does not already own.

"I can only say, reiterate that we made a deal in December that received unanimous approval, which is important, by the 21st Century Fox board", said Iger.

James Murdoch, the 21st Century Fox chief executive, is planning to strike out on his own if Fox's pending deal to sell much of the company to Walt Disney Co. closes, most likely by starting a venture-capital fund to invest in digital and worldwide media businesses, according to people familiar with the matter.

The offer would top the $52 billion Walt Disney has already agreed to pay for most of Fox's assets. Fox originally denied Comcast's deal as it would likely mean a lot of legal headaches, more so than the Time Warner/AT&T situation.

Late Monday, Reuters reported that Comcast was lining up financing to make an all-cash bid for Fox's vaunted TV and movie studio, FX, National Geographic channels, almost two dozen regional sports networks and control of the online streaming service Hulu.

Comcast and Disney see the writing on the wall - change and adapt or become Blockbuster. Disney is going to be launching its own video streaming services in 2019.

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Comcast successfully convinced USA regulators to let it buy NBCUniversal in 2011 and has since turned that company's film, TV and theme park business into major revenue earners.

As Reuters explains, Comcast exhausted to buy Fox past year but the deal never went through reportedly due in part to antitrust concerns.

Chief Executive Bob Iger, on a conference call with analysts, said the company would consider expanding its parks business in China and other markets.

The judge is expected to deliver a decision on the AT&T-Time Warner deal in June, a ruling that determines Comcast's next move.

It is doubtful that Comcast's offer for 21st Century Fox will be the last offer for 21st Century Fox.

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