UPDATE (7/19/18): As CNBC reports, Comcast has now announced that they are no longer pursuing 21st Century Fox.
- The company released this statement, “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.”
- Additionally, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts stated, “I’d like to congratulate Bob Iger and the team at Disney and commend the Murdoch family and Fox for creating such a desirable and respected company.”
- As a fun sidenote, CNBC’s David Faber apparently broke the news to Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger who replied, “Holy crap.”
- Disney later released a statement, saying, “Our incredible enthusiasm for this acquisition and the value it will create has continued to grow as we’ve come to know 21st Century Fox’s stellar array of talent and assets. We’re extremely pleased with today’s news, and our focus now is on completing the regulatory process and ultimately moving toward integrating our businesses.”
With time running out before special Fox and Disney shareholders meetings to approve their partial acquisition are held, reports are now saying its “unlikely” that Comcast will make another bid for the 21st Century Fox assets.
- According to CNBC, their parent company is turning its focus from its bidding war with Disney over Fox assets and is now concentrating on their bidding war against Fox for Sky.
- Last week saw both Comcast and Fox upping their bids for Sky, with Comcast currently on top with $34 billion.
- One of the reasons Comcast could be backing off of the 21st Century Fox front is the Department of Justice’s decision to appeal the recently-approved AT&T-Time Warner merger.
- Previously, Comcast had cited the approval of AT&T-Time Warner a reason to believe their purchase of Fox assets would obtain approval, placing their bid for Fox a day after the judge gave his ruling.
- Meanwhile, The Walt Disney Company has already received U.S. regulatory approval, although they will need to sell the 22 regional sports networks they’d be getting from Fox within 90 days of the deal closing.
- Another issue Comcast had faced was the concern that they’d be overleveraging themselves in a bidding war against Disney, with their initial offer already amounting to four times their annual revenue.
- Both Disney and Fox are currently set to hold special shareholders meetings on July 27th in New York to approve their tentative deal.