Men Closer To Joining MCU As Comcast Exits Bidding War With Disney

Disney CEO Bob Iger referred to Sky as the "crown jewels" of Fox assets, so don't think for a second Disney won't be pushing Fox's Rupert Murdoch to make sure they get that deal over the line. Time had run out for Comcast to come back with a new offer, with Fox shareholders scheduled to vote on the Disney deal on July 27. We'll see if Disney counters. With Comcast out of the Fox hunt, it is not clear if Disney will decide it needs to also own the 61% of Sky not already owned by Murdoch's company. So Disney and Comcast may yet have to duke it out in that regard down the road.

After a battle that could have gone on for longer than anyone wanted it to, Comcast has officially dropped its bid for a large majority 21st Century Fox's media assets, making Disney the victor of the bidding war.

It has been an epic clash of media titans worthy of a blockbuster movie itself like, say, the X-Men - notably a property of 21st Century Fox.

While an acquisition of Britain's Sky, a broadcaster of sports, films and TV shows to 23 million homes across Europe, would significantly diversify Comcast's business overseas, it would do little to give it scale in its core USA market. In the wake of AT&T's success at acquiring Time-Warner, this seems less detrimental to a deal so much as whether Comcast can successfully split Sky off from the rest of the deal with Disney.

A top U.S. Justice Department official, Makan Delrahim, praised the deal as being carefully sculpted to avoid antitrust concerns, signaling federal regulators were unlikely to block it. Well, Murdoch is one of the major shareholders of Sky as well, so read into that what you will. Increasing the offer by £1 would add $1.5 billion of extra debt, and $60 million in annual interest costs, Disney has said.

British regulators required Murdochs to sell off the respected Sky News service if they were to win full control of Sky, and to agree to pay to keep it fully funded for at least the next 15 years. As Disney is scheduled to launch its own streaming service to compete with Netflix and Hulu next year-even though this deal would potentially give Disney almost a one-third stake in Hulu-the value of that content can not be overstated, even from the Mouse House's coffers.

  • Marlene Weaver