In what may turn out to be a sure-fire sign that the bidding war is over, sources close to CNBC suggest Comcast is unlikely to counter Disney‘s $71.3 billion bid for the media assets owned by 20th Century Fox.
That means barring any last-minute hiccups (or lawsuits), the Mouse House will soon be on the verge of acquiring Fox’s film and television assets – Deadpool, X-Men and the Fantastic Four included – in what is undoubtedly one of Hollywood’s biggest ever mergers.
Meanwhile, prospects of Comcast bolstering its $66 billion all-cash challenge are beginning to fade – and fast – as sources familiar with the situation indicate that 20th Century Fox (primarily co-chairman Rupert Murdoch) favors a deal with Disney, leaving Comcast to pursue a possible acquisition of British TV network, Sky, which is 39 percent owned by Fox.
Per CNBC, last week Fox raised its bid for the “remaining portion of Sky it doesn’t own, with a new offer valuing the deal at $32.5 billion.” Comcast then went one step further to post a $34 billion valuation of Sky.
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So when it comes to those hotly-contested film and TV assets, it appears the pendulum has swung back in Disney’s favor, though this entire bidding war is symptomatic of the changing media landscape, as online giants like Netflix and Amazon force the world’s traditional media giants to shell out tens of billions of dollars just to keep pace.
For Disney, that involves boosting the company’s portfolio in time for its all-new streaming service, which is due to go live sometime next year replete with a live-action Star Wars series. Just imagine if it also featured content weaned from 20th Century Fox’s vaults, too…
More on this story as it develops.