Comcast Is Said to Be Considering Renewed Bid for Fox Assets
(Bloomberg) -- Comcast Corp. is considering making another bid for much of 21st Century Fox Inc., two months after Fox agreed to a deal with Walt Disney Co., according to a person familiar with the matter.
Comcast had offered about $60 billion for many of Fox’s assets, including the movie-and-TV production house, a 39 percent stake in Sky Plc, Star India’s channels and a lineup of pay-TV channels such as FX and National Geographic, the person said. That’s higher than Disney’s $52 billion offer, which Fox accepted.
Comcast is looking at several options in considering another bid, the person said, and has not decided whether to do so. The company pursued a deal with Fox last year in large part because it was interested in owning Sky Plc. Fox is pursuing an 11.7 billion-pound ($16.3 billion) takeover of Sky, a European pay-TV operator.
U.K. regulators have opposed that deal, saying it would give Rupert Murdoch too much control over the country’s media, though could be swayed by concessions from Fox. Fox said in a response to findings by the Competition & Markets Authority that a “firewall” remedy for Sky’s news division would be the most appropriate solution to alleviate media plurality concerns.
Fox’s shares rose as much as 3.5 percent in pre-market trading in New York.
Last year, Fox preferred to sell assets to Disney in part because it believed that deal would present fewer regulatory hurdles, people familiar with the matter have said. But a tie-up between Disney and Fox isn’t guaranteed to get an easy pass through Washington, either.
CNBC reported last week that Comcast could consider topping Disney’s bid for Fox.
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