Comcast Makes $65 Billion Offer to Buy 21st Century Fox

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Whoever wins the bid, should it be accepted by both companies, will acquire much of Fox's film and TV assets, as well as its worldwide holdings (including stakes in UK's Sky and in Star India) and its stake in Hulu.

And the deal would come with Fox's stake in Hulu, the streaming service with 20 million viewers.

"All hell's going to break loose on the Disney-Fox deal", investment banker Lloyd Grief predictedin a piece at Deadline.

But Comcast investors haven't welcomed the company's sudden appetite for megadeals. The Wall Street Journal reported similar thinking earlier Wednesday.

The Verge reports that Comcast has offered to pay Fox shareholders $35.00 per share in cash, whereas Disney's bid is all tied up in stock.

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Both those companies eventually want all of Sky.

Major sports and news assets including Fox News, Fox Business Network and Fox Sports would be spun off into a separate company. Comcast is bidding independently for the same stake, leaving Sky's fate uncertain. The telecom would also have an interest in getting cable subscribers to switch from their providers to DirectTV (which AT&T already owns).

Comcast already owns film and TV studios, broadcast and cable TV operations including the NBC and US networks, and the Universal Studios theme parks. That would be Rupert Murdoch, the largest shareholder of Fox.

The combined company posted almost $192 billion in sales past year, and is worth roughly $282 billion on the stock market.

Most analysts had expected that District Judge Richard Leon would rule in favor of the companies and strike down a Justice Department's lawsuit to block the deal, which may have muted some of the immediate reaction. Shares of AT&T (T) slid by just under 3 percent.

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Comcast said it meant to pursue its $30 billion acquisition of Sky Plc in parallel with its Fox bid.

"We are highly confident in our ability to finance the transaction, and our offer includes no financing-related conditions", Roberts said. He said Comcast's proposal is at least as likely to pass muster with regulators as Disney's.

Fox's stock jumped 7% in after-hours trading, and Disney's fell modestly amid predictions that Comcast, emboldened by the AT&T ruling, would make an aggressive bid for most of Fox's assets. "We think the answer is yes".

Now the ball is in Fox's court.

When the deal was announced, it was also revealed that The Walt Disney Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger had agreed to continue in the position through the end of calendar year 2021 to oversee the transition. Comcast, meanwhile, has been leading the way in marrying pipes with the entertainment that flows through them.

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