Com­cast chal­lenges Dis­ney with $65B bid for Fox

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - Obituaries/news -

Com­cast made a $65 bil­lion bid Wed­nes­day for Fox’s en­ter­tain­ment busi­nesses, set­ting up a bat­tle with Dis­ney to be­come the next mega-me­dia com­pany.

The bid comes just a day af­ter a fed­eral judge cleared AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner and re­jected the gov­ern­ment’s ar­gu­ment that it would hurt com­pe­ti­tion in ca­ble and satel­lite TV and jack up costs to con­sumers for stream­ing TV and movies. The rul­ing sig­naled that Com­cast could win reg­u­la­tory ap­proval, too; its bid for Fox shares many sim­i­lar­i­ties with the AT&T-Time Warner deal.

Com­cast says its cash bid is 19 per­cent higher than the value of Dis­ney of­fer as of Wed­nes­day. The Wall Street Jour­nal and oth­ers re­ported ear­lier that Com­cast had lined up $60 bil­lion in cash to chal­lenge Dis­ney for me­dia mogul Ru­pert Mur­doch’s com­pany. Dis­ney’s of­fer was for $52.5 bil­lion when it was made in De­cem­ber, though the fi­nal value will de­pend on the stock price at the clos­ing.

“This is a golden of­fer that will put con­sid­er­able pres­sure on (Dis­ney CEO Bob) Iger and Dis­ney to step up their game on an­other bid,” GBH In­sights an­a­lyst Dan Ives said.

The bat­tle for Twen­tyFirst Cen­tury Fox comes as tra­di­tional en­ter­tain­ment com­pa­nies try to amass more con­tent to com­pete bet­ter with tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies such as Ama­zon and Net­flix for view­ers’ at­ten­tion — and dol­lars.

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