Sorry MCU, the Fox-Disney Deal Might Be In Trouble

21st Century Fox logo

21st Century Fox logo

Cable TV giant Comcast says it is considering a takeover offer for Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, setting the stage for showdown with Walt Disney. Comcast said that Wednesday morning's announcement was made "in view of the recent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission" by Disney and Fox in advance of their upcoming shareholder meetings slated for the summer.

The cable giant, which owns NBCUniversal, had in December bowed out of the bidding process just before Fox accepted the Disney deal, which includes the 20th Century Fox movie and TV studio, all the global pay TV properties including its stake in Sky, as well as a number of other assets.

While the USA cable operator said it was still considering its position, it said it was in advanced stages of readying an offer that would be "superior" and "at a premium" to Disney's all stock offer.

Reports earlier in May indicated that Comcast was speaking with investment banks and preparing a bid to surpass Disney's $52 billion offer. Fox has a 39 percent stake in that company and has been trying to buy outright, but its bid has been blocked by regulators.

Rumours about Comcast's interests in Fox have circulated for weeks, but it is the first time it has confirmed its intentions. Its chief competitors? Disney and Fox, naturally.

These same elements of the Fox empire would likely go to Comcast if the competing offer is accepted, but industry pundits predict that a deal with Comcast would be under much more intense scrutiny from regulatory agencies, given Comcast's current media holdings, which include not only a vast cable and internet empire, but also the movie and TV powerhouse NBCUniversal.

More news: Donald Trump Orders Justice Department to Investigate Obama Surveillance
More news: NBA Draft Lottery 2018: Phoenix Suns awarded No 1 pick
More news: Elon Musk: Boring Company's LA "Loop" tunnel system will cost $1/ride

Comcast had entered the bidding for Fox's studio assets last fall before Disney set its plan with Fox in December. Comcast said at the time that it "never got the level of engagement needed to make a definitive offer".

Comcast won approval on Monday from the United Kingdom government to move ahead with the offer for Sky. But the controlling family and shareholders would face pressure if the new offer is better than the one from Disney.

However, in its statement, Comcast promised to pay a significant break fee should regulators scupper a deal.

Fox's stakes in European satcaster Sky and Hulu are also in Comcast's sights, as well as a 50% stake in Endemol Shine Group, and a bevy of regional sports networks.

"It all depends on the AT&T and Time Warner deal", said Brian Weiser, analyst at Pivotal Research. Moreover, as cord cutting grows in the United States, and consumer media consumption habits change, the market will continue to see more big deals that strive to insulate players from industry disruption.

Recommended News

  • House conservatives want second special counsel to investigate alleged DOJ 'misconduct'

    House conservatives want second special counsel to investigate alleged DOJ 'misconduct'

    The back and forth between the Justice Department and Congress began with a classified subpoena from Nunes in late April. Trump denies any collusion between Russian officials and his campaign, calling investigations a political witch hunt.
    US will crush Iran: Mike Pompeo

    US will crush Iran: Mike Pompeo

    Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is interviewed by The Associated Press in New York, April 24, 2018. Limiting Iran's missile capabilities was one of Pompeo's main demands.
    Nadal marches on at Italian Open

    Nadal marches on at Italian Open

    He has another chance to regain the top spot this week and will replace Roger Federer at No.1 if he wins an eighth Rome title. Defending champion Alexander Zverev needed eight match points before completing a 7-5, 7-6 (11) win over Kyle Edmund.
  • Lava destroys warehouse at power plant site

    Lava destroys warehouse at power plant site

    Ferracane said thermal imaging has identified at least one "hot spot" from the former flow. It shows the glow from fissures as they pushed out lava overnight Monday into Tuesday.
    Italy's Five Star unveils programme for govt with far-right

    Italy's Five Star unveils programme for govt with far-right

    The two parties won more than 50% of the March vote between them as they look to lead the eurozone's third largest economy. Late on Tuesday, a draft coalition program for the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the far-right League leaked .
    Ebola outbreak spreads to Congo city of 1 million

    Ebola outbreak spreads to Congo city of 1 million

    Those exposed to the suspected Ebola cases will for the first time in Congo receive Ebola vaccinations, the health minister said. Senior WHO official Peter Salama said the spread to Mbandaka meant there was the potential for an "explosive increase" in cases.
  • NFL mandates that players on the field stand for national anthem

    NFL mandates that players on the field stand for national anthem

    Several Redskins players took a knee during the national anthem before a game against the Oakland Raiders in September. Players who choose not to stand may now remain in the locker room until after the anthem is finished.
    China says it hopes US-North Korea summit can proceed smoothly

    China says it hopes US-North Korea summit can proceed smoothly

    In his meetings Tuesday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Trump hoped to gain clarity on North Korea's nuclear intentions. Observers will be watching the nuclear test site destruction ceremony closely for any clues to the North's mood.
    The Holy Spirit changes hearts, Pope says on Pentecost

    The Holy Spirit changes hearts, Pope says on Pentecost

    Mr Cruz said Pope Francis had also told him: "God made you this way and loves you this way, and it doesn't matter to me". After attending a crisis meeting with Francis about the cover-up last week, all of Chile's bishops offered to resign.
  • Trump looks at tariffs on vehicle  imports

    Trump looks at tariffs on vehicle imports

    One of Trump's campaign promises was to secure a new North American Free Trade Agreement that was more favorable to the U.S. Applying the tariffs under Section 232, meanwhile, would require a lengthy investigation and report from the U.S.
    Santa Fe hits home for veteran of helping mass shooting victims heal

    Santa Fe hits home for veteran of helping mass shooting victims heal

    But the gun-related groups are just two of the two dozen invited to attend. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., had drills too.
    Nikki Haley defends Israel after Gaza violence, walks out of meeting

    Nikki Haley defends Israel after Gaza violence, walks out of meeting

    Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales opened the embassy just two days after the USA inaugurated its new site in the disputed city. Some burned tires, hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails, floated incendiary kites, and attempted to destroy border fencing.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.