Comcast closing in on plan to challenge Disney's Fox bid


Comcast said it is in "advanced stages of preparing" the offer for the television and entertainment assets Fox agreed to sell to Disney in a $52.4 billion stock deal announced in December. Disney already plans to buy Sky TV as part of the deal for Fox, but United Kingdom regulators have said they don't see any public interest concerns with Comcast's offer.

Disney in December offered stock then worth $52.4 billion to buy Fox's film, television and global businesses as it bids to beef up its offering against streaming rivals Netflix Inc and Inc. But last week, Moody's Investor Service cautioned that if both the Sky and Fox deals were to go through, Comcast's total debt would reach $164 billion and could "imperil" the company's credit rating.

The deal with Disney would also mean movies from 21st Century Fox franchises such as X-Men could be exclusively featured on Disney's upcoming streaming service and, as referenced above, the Marvel superhero properties previously owned by Fox - includingX-Men, Deadpool, andFantastic Four- could be integrated into Marvel Studios' cinematic universe.

Like Disney, it wants to buy all of Fox's assets except its news channel and main sports and business networks.

"While no final decision has been made, at this point the work to finance the all-cash offer and make the key regulatory filings is well advanced".

Early Wednesday morning trading saw Fox's stock up 1% to $38.55; Comcast was down 1.7% to $31.96, while Disney slipped 1.4% to $102.60.

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Many served under pro-engagement president Roh Moo-hyun, at a time when Bolton was a strong proponent inside the George W. China possesses a unique combination of carrots and sticks that could help a deal succeed or cause it to unravel.

Comcast is putting cash on the table to stop Disney's deal with Fox. Comcast chief Brian Roberts is set to clash with Disney's Bob Iger for control of the film and TV empire that Rupert Murdoch and sons James and Lachlan spent years building.

Comcast won approval on Monday from the United Kingdom government to move ahead with the offer for Sky.

An association of small cable operators, the American Cable Association, warned on Wednesday evening that Disney or Comcast deals for Fox assets could harm consumers. Disney also owns the rights to the Star Wars movie franchise after buying Lucasfilm in October 2012.

Fox declined to comment on Comcast's statement. With the acquisition of Fox's broadcast networks, Disney would own numerous local Fox networks that air local baseball and basketball games. While the company has sound fundamentals, many financial analysts have questioned its strategy of going all-in for Fox given the amount of debt it would have to take on.

Updated May 23, 2018, with more details about another Comcast offer.

Another pending deal that would join telecom and broadband giant AT&T with media-entertainment group Time Warner is being challenged by the US Justice Department in an antitrust suit.