Comcast Drops Out Of Bidding Against Disney For Fox Assets

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Both Comcast Corp. and Fox want Sky in order to amass more programming as they compete for viewers with both traditional TV networks and technology companies such as Netflix and Amazon.

Department of Justice officials filed a motion on Wednesday requesting an accelerated timeline for its appeal of a judge's decision to approve a merger between AT&T and Time Warner. Disney made an offer of $52.4 billion for Fox's key assets which they ultimately accepted. The DOJ's approval of the Fox/Disney deal requires Disney to divest Fox-owned regional sports networks. Fox shareholders are set to vote on Disney's offer July 27. Here is what Comcast chief Brian Roberts said in a statement as reported by CNN. On CNBC, Disney's Iger said he was "extremely pleased with today's news".

After initially winning a bidding war with Comcast for Fox's assets, we all thought that Marvel's characters were coming home to the MCU.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who over three decades assembled the Hollywood entertainment colossus that is Fox, seemed to clearly favor Disney and Iger, the affable CEO with whom he enjoys a personal rapport. The idea of a Comcast Fox deal is officially dead.

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"This was the final chapter in this soap opera", said GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives. Comcast didn't specify its reason for pulling out of the race but said it will instead focus on its offer to purchase a percentage of British telecommunications company Sky. Sky has major offerings, not just in the United Kingdom but in Germany, Italy, Austria, Spain and Ireland. Fox owns 39 percent of Sky and has also been trying to buy the 61 percent it doesn't own.

Comcast's most recent offer for Sky values the broadcaster at £26 billion ($34 billion), up from its previous offer of £22 billion.

With Comcast ostensibly out of the picture, Disney is poised to gain control of Fox's film and TV studios, along with a suite of cable networks (FX, for instance) and a 30 percent share of online streaming service, Hulu. That includes other worldwide properties, including the Star India satellite service.