Comcast Wages Bidding War Against Disney To Acquire 21st Century Fox

REUTERS/Mike Blake

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Vandana Rambaran Political Reporter
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Comcast offered a $65 billion all-cash bid to acquire the entertainment portion of 21st Century Fox, on Wednesday, according to a letter from Comcast delivered to the Board of Directors at 21st Century Fox.

The move to acquire 21st Century Fox’s movie and TV production assets and global TV channels such as National Geographic, Sky in Europe and Star in India, will induce a bidding war between Comcast and Disney, who already has a $52 billion deal for the same assets from Fox.

Comcast appealed to 21st Century Fox a day after a federal judge ruled that AT&T could buy Time Warner, a move that was previously contested by the Justice Department on grounds that the merger would harm competition and raise prices for consumers.

The acquirer of 21st Century Fox would gain control of Hulu as well as all of Fox’s movie and TV show content, making them a prominent rival against Netflix and Amazon, two of the largest streaming services. Disney previously had plans to launch a streaming media service of this nature when it first reached a deal with 21st Century Fox in December.

Despite attempting to strike a deal with 21st Century Fox currently, Comcast and Fox are also competing for acquisition of the European cable company Sky, which Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch already owns 39 percent of. (RELATED: 21st Century Fox May Finally Be Able To Acquire The Rest Of Sky)

Comcast said in its letter addressed to Rupert, Lachlan, and James Murdoch about their decision to sell to Disney, “We were disappointed when 21CF decided to enter into a transaction with The Walt Disney Company, even though we had offered a meaningfully higher price,” and hope their new offer “addresses the Board’s stated concerns with our prior proposal.”

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