Published: Fri, July 20, 2018
Culture | By Henry Herrera

Comcast backs down in fight for 21st Century Fox

Comcast backs down in fight for 21st Century Fox

Disney fended off Comcast's $66 billion all-cash challenge to its deal for the Fox assets last month by sweetening its offer to $71 billion in cash-and-stock. Fans have long desired to see characters like the Human Torch or Wolverine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Fox's successful X-Men movie franchise has prevented any real talks from emerging. Here's what Comcast had to say in a statement.

In a statement to CNBC, Comcast said, "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".

Disney CEO Bob Iger referred to Sky as the "crown jewels" of Fox assets, so don't think for a second Disney won't be pushing Fox's Rupert Murdoch to make sure they get that deal over the line. The deal, at the time, was valued at $52.4 billion, all in stock.

Comcast had offered almost $66 billion for Fox. Instead, they've bowed out gracefully.

Fox has been trying to buy the 61 percent of Sky it doesn't already own.

Back in May, the cable company looked to have pipped Disney at the post with an all-cash bid, but today's withdrawal signals the end of what was undoubtedly one of the biggest corporate duels in modern media history.

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Fox's current bid for the remaining shares of Sky would add $19.5 billion to Disney's acquisition costs, Greenfield calculates. With Fox, Disney would also have a larger library of movies and shows for a streaming service set to debut next year.

Brian Roberts, chairman and chief executive officer of Comcast, said his company will focus on acquiring Sky.

Disney recently received regulatory approval to purchase Fox's assets. Can anything stop the House of Mouse from devouring the Fox?

The broadband, cable and entertainment giant Comcast announced Thursday that it would withdraw from the field, conceding defeat in its audacious bidding war for most of the entertainment assets of Fox, controlled by the Murdoch family.

In a drama of outsize media egos, however, reason may not prevail. But this is the wave of the future, apparently.

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