Comcast focuses its attention on taking over Sky

Yolanda Curtis
July 20, 2018

Comcast dropped out of the bidding war for Twenty-First Century Fox's entertainment business Thursday, saying that it will instead focus on its pursuit of the European pay-TV operator Sky.

Shares of Comcast were up 2.2 percent in premarket trade, while Fox fell 1 percent.

The decision announced Thursday morning by Comcast came after Disney seemed willing to spend whatever it took to buy Fox - its current offer stands at $71 billion - while Rupert Murdoch seemed equally determined to sell the Fox entertainment empire to Disney, snubbing Comcast.

"Our focus now is on completing the regulatory process and ultimately moving toward integrating our businesses", he said in a statement.

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It is not known if Murdoch, who is now the Executive Co-Chairman at 21st Century Fox, would maintain a role inside the company or if he would take some time off to celebrate being newly Wednesday for the fourth time to supermodel wife Jerry Hall.

Comcast's chances of buying Fox got even worse on June 27 when the Department of Justice gave its approval to the Disney/Fox deal.

This opens up so many possibilities for Disney, but most fans are very excited at the idea of Fox's Marvel characters crossing over into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In a statement, Comcast reaffirmed that it will instead shift its focus to British broadcaster Sky, which is 39 percent owned by Fox.

Fox has also made an offer for the 61 percent of Sky it does not own, although Comcast is now the highest bidder with a 14.75 pounds-per share-offer, worth $34 billion, for the London-listed pay TV group.

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Comcast originally held back on bidding for Fox's production assets until a federal judge approved AT&T's so-called vertical merger with Time Warner. It was also anxious how much revenue it would lose in divesting assets to appease USA antitrust regulators.

Comcast fought valiantly to acquire Fox's assets, which include the film and TV studio, a number cable networks including FX and National Geographic, and an additional 30% of Hulu.

That doesn't mean Comcast is done trying to buy media properties, however.

In a battle among media giants for control of Twenty-First Century Fox's entertainment business, Comcast has blinked.

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