The 21st Century Fox Bidding War Between Comcast and Disney Ends
Comcast has dropped out of seeking to acquire 21st Century Fox’s assets in a bidding war that has brewed between Comcast and the Walt Disney Company for months.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Corporation Brian Roberts graciously had this to say about Disney and Fox after Comcast’s decision was made public: “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.”
The end of the bidding war was surprising news as Comcast seemed committed to a.) acquiring the 21st Century Fox’s assets and b.) thwarting Disney in the process. Both agendas are now in Comcast’s rear-view window. Now Comcast is solely focused on acquiring the British pay-TV service Sky, the “UK’s largest pay-TV broadcaster with 11 million customers as of 2015.”
Disney wants Sky as well, as part of its acquisition of 21st Century Fox (Sky is a part of 21st Century Fox) but Disney might move to end the haggling, price increases, and let Comcast purchase it without upping the current bid. The current bid for Sky by Comcast is $34 billion, which includes Fox’s stake in Sky. If successful in their bid, Comcast would hold a controlling stake in Sky and Comcast would be able to expand overseas.
For Disney’s part, now they are free to acquire 21st Century Fox’s assets for their last offer of $71.3 billion. That is up $18.9 billion from their $52.4 billion offer after Comcast began bidding on the same assets.
In a statement about the Fox assets, Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said his company’s focus is now on “completing the regulatory process and ultimately moving toward integrating our business.”
With Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s assets, Disney will have enough intellectual property (IP) firepower to challenge Netflix for supremacy in the on-demand, streaming service arena.
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