Comcast floats 'superior' $65 billion bid for Fox

US President Donald Trump a frequent critic of Time Warner’s CNN coverage denounced the deal when it was announced in October 2016

US President Donald Trump a frequent critic of Time Warner’s CNN coverage denounced the deal when it was announced in October 2016

That was the signal Comcast was waiting for to make its move to outbid Disney for such Fox assets as FX Networks, National Geographic, a 30-percent stake in Hulu, and the 20th Century Fox film and television production studios, which include the movie rights for the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool.

21st Century Fox originally rejected the $60 billion Comcast offer due to concerns that the federal government might block such a deal.

"We have reviewed the publicly available terms of the proposed Disney transaction, as well as the joint proxy statement/prospectus filed with the SEC describing the reasons for the 21CF Board of Directors' decision", Comcast said in announcing its new offer.

The Department of Justice sued in November 2017 to block AT&T's $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner on grounds that the merger could hurt competition in the pay-TV industry.

Fox shareholders are scheduled to vote on the Disney deal on July 10, unless Murdoch and the board decide to support Comcast's bid. The sources claim that Comcast is preparing an all-cash bid for Fox's assets, one that will allegedly be officially revealed some time tomorrow.

Traditional telecommunications companies see these deals as vital to their survival in the cord-cutting era - an entertainment epoch in which streaming services like Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime have already gained a strong foothold. Conditions under considering reportedly considered an arbitration clause, requiring Time Warner to sell content to online distributors for reasonable prices, or spinning off a significant content division like Turner, the Time Warner subsidiary that owns CNN.

"Disney has the superior balance sheet, cost of debt, equity and rationale to emerge victorious over Comcast in a bidding war", Moffett said. In 2011, when Comcast chose to merge with NBCUniversal, the FTC and DOJ imposed conditions to mitigate the deal's harm on competition within the media industry.

A high-stakes decision in a United States court Tuesday will be significant for the future of Big Media, Big Tech and big business in general. This was the biggest antitrust case in many years, potentially paving the way for similar deals among other companies.

Comcast Corp. (CMCSA.O) made a long-awaited offer to acquire much of 21st Century Fox Inc. That's a grand total of $65 billion, which is 19% better than the current Disney offer. The U.S. government approved AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner (including media companies like Warner Bros. and HBO), and emboldened by that decision, Comcast has now put in a significantly higher bid for 21st Century Fox's assets.

The offer is the first of many expected to follow Tuesday's federal court ruling giving the go-ahead to AT&T to buy Time Warner.

Comcast said its proposal is "at least as favourable" to shareholders as Disney's plan.

The court approval ended a heated antitrust battle, and suggested Comcast would be able to clear any regulatory hurdles to a deal with Fox.

Roberts wrote in his letter that Comcast is "highly confident" its offer will "obtain all necessary regulatory approvals in a timely manner".

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