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Comcast gives up on buying 21st Century Fox assets and leaves Disney as the winner

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Comcast will focus on acquiring Sky in Europe instead

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Comcast has formally withdrawn its competing $65 billion bid to acquire 21st Century Fox, ceding the rights to the entertainment company to Disney’s upped $71.3 billion offer. Comcast says it will instead shift all focus to its ongoing efforts to acquire Europe’s Sky instead.

Per an official statement from the company, “Comcast does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of the Twenty-First Century Fox assets and, instead, will focus on our recommended offer for Sky.”

Disney first announced its bid for Fox’s assets — which include the movie studio 20th Century Fox, the company’s TV production arm 20th Century Fox Television, Fox-owned cable networks (including FX and National Geographic), and a controlling stake in Hulu — in a $52.4 billion bid last December. But following AT&T’s successful acquisition of Time Warner, Comcast was emboldened to make a $65 billion all-cash bid of its own, confident that regulatory approval for a Comcast-Fox deal wouldn’t be an issue. Disney countered that offer with a $71.3 billion bid last month, and it seems that Comcast isn’t interested in going any higher.

Now that Comcast is no longer trying to steal Fox out from under it and antitrust approval from the Justice Department is already secured, it would seem that there aren’t any obstacles left for Disney’s landmark acquisition.

A merged Disney Fox conglomerate would look something like this: