The $85 billion merger between AT&T and Time Warner was approved Tuesday. In a statement, Fox said it would "carefully review" the "unsolicited" offer. (DIS.N) and setting up a bidding war for Rupert Murdoch's media empire.
Unfortunately for the MCU fandom, the $52.4 billion deal offered by the Mouse House to purchase a majority of assets owned by Fox - including Deadpool, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men - "is in more jeopardy than some may believe".
"That breakup fee created an absolute beast in the wireless space", said Angelo Zino, telecom analyst at CFRA Research. "This is even higher than the Street thought, which speaks to Comcast really wanting these key assets". "Barring a third entrant (Internet/tech is possible), we would see the most sensible outcome as splitting the baby, with Comcast getting Sky (which we see as its main goal) and Disney getting most of the rest".
They are fighting over Fox's television and film studios, as well as global properties, including Star India and Sky. For instance, it could compel a rival cable company like Comcast to pay sharply higher fees for the right to carry Time Warner shows like NBA basketball games or the hugely popular HBO drama "Game of Thrones". Comcast already owns such cable channels as CNBC, Bravo and SyFy. Fox being sold off to another media company means that's one less place for storytellers to try to get projects made, which is bad news for anyone who values movies and TV that takes chances and colors outside the lines. That's key for Comcast, which now doesn't have an global presence.
In the UK, Disney and Comcast are now battling to take over Sky plc, the owner of Sky News. Comcast bid 16 per cent more than Disney for Fox's media properties, but that offer was deemed too risky.
Wednesday's offer is a likely sign that Comcast thinks AT&T's victory might help its chances, and placate the antitrust concerns that Fox had a year ago. Interestingly enough, Fox stated its board of directors recommends they vote in favor of selling to Disney. Disney wouldn't face the same issues because it isn't a television distributor as the way Comcast and AT&T are. That could raise regulatory objections. This news comes to us courtesy of The Associated Press.
Regulators in this country also have cleared Comcast's $30.7bn offer for the 61% of Sky that Mr Murdoch does not own. The company's board will need to determine whether Comcast's offer is reasonably likely to be better than Disney's. Disney and Fox did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Like Disney, Comcast is willing to divest Fox's regional sports networks if regulators demand it, according to company filings.