Disney wins: Comcast drops its bid for 21st Century Fox

Disney has won the war for 21st Century Fox.Comcast announced Thursday that it will drop its pursuit of the 21...

Posted: Jul 19, 2018 1:05 PM
Updated: Jul 19, 2018 1:05 PM

Disney has won the war for 21st Century Fox.

Comcast announced Thursday that it will drop its pursuit of the 21st Century Fox assets that it was fighting over with Disney.

Comcast had bid $65 billion for Fox's movie studio, which is responsible for franchises like "Avatar" and "X-Men," along with Fox's regional sports networks and cable channels like FX and National Geographic. Disney's most recent bid was $71 billion.

The battle with Disney isn't completely over: Comcast said Thursday it will continue to pursue its bid for British broadcaster Sky, which Disney is also trying to buy through Fox. Comcast has offered $34 billion for that company.

A Comcast takeover of Sky would deprive Fox, and thus Disney, of a major direct-to-consumer platform in Europe that Iger has described as a "crown jewel" of the Fox assets.

Over the course of the bidding war, 21st Century Fox's value surged 36% as Disney, then Comcast, then Disney again bid for rights to most of Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

The Murdochs will hold onto their broadcast, news and national sports programming, including Fox News, Fox Business and Fox Sports. The new company, known as "New Fox," will be headed by Lachlan Murdoch.

"I'd like to congratulate Bob Iger and the team at Disney and commend the Murdoch family and Fox for creating such a desirable and respected company," Comcast chief Brian Roberts said in a statement.

The bidding war between Iger and Roberts had become one of the most closely followed stories among Hollywood executives, given the sheer scale of the acquisition and the two men's well-known dislike for one another.

By winning the war for Fox, Disney will now have arguably the most formidable content portfolio in all of Hollywood, adding to an already impressive stable that includes Marvel, Pixar and LucasFilm.

But Sky is the other piece of the puzzle: One of Disney's top priorities is building direct-to-consumer relationships globally, so that it can compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon. Sky has a direct-to-consumer relationship with 23 million paying subscribers across five European countries, making it a key part of the overall Fox acquisition.

Should Sky go to Comcast, Iger would effectively cede the direct-to-consumer market in Europe to Roberts, who would then oversee the biggest pay-TV provider in the world.

Disney won the US Justice Department's approval for its acquisition of Fox assets last month. It agreed to spin off Fox's sports networks to get the government's blessing.

In an unrelated but equally consequential decision, the Justice Department last week appealed a court's approval of AT&T's purchase of Time Warner, the parent company of CNN.

That effectively drove a stake through Comcast's chances of buying Fox: Comcast's deal looks a lot more like AT&T's Time Warner purchase than Disney's Fox bid.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 2421
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Hennepin34657994
Ramsey14342362
Dakota10027138
Anoka9039151
Washington608972
Stearns599144
Scott349634
Olmsted331430
St. Louis307970
Wright260915
Clay236243
Nobles230916
Blue Earth20667
Carver18477
Kandiyohi17535
Sherburne173322
Rice167410
Mower153517
Winona127819
Chisago10832
Crow Wing106222
Lyon9966
Benton9769
Waseca9379
Beltrami9147
Otter Tail9017
Todd8656
Steele7823
Morrison77610
Itasca76317
Nicollet74718
Douglas7283
Polk7244
Freeborn6914
Le Sueur6456
Goodhue62511
Martin61518
McLeod6104
Becker5884
Watonwan5794
Isanti5715
Pine5540
Chippewa4663
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Mille Lacs42715
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Rock3484
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Brown3333
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Murray2893
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Redwood28411
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Sibley2603
Renville25812
Wadena2553
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Kanabec22510
Jackson2171
Houston2121
Swift2091
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Unassigned19353
Lincoln1890
Stevens1871
Aitkin1862
Koochiching1725
Pope1650
Lac qui Parle1443
Big Stone1431
Wilkin1404
Marshall1311
Lake1260
Norman1210
Mahnomen1172
Clearwater1140
Grant994
Red Lake812
Traverse580
Kittson490
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Cook170

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 117876

Reported Deaths: 1666
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk19173289
Woodbury728597
Johnson590630
Black Hawk5727101
Linn5692132
Dubuque529558
Scott466241
Story403918
Dallas348544
Pottawattamie326744
Sioux247017
Buena Vista226812
Marshall204436
Webster189115
Plymouth167831
Wapello154162
Clinton150227
Muscatine148758
Des Moines140910
Cerro Gordo140227
Crawford136314
Warren12737
Carroll116813
Jasper112334
Henry10745
Marion103211
Lee95910
Tama95837
Delaware80213
Dickinson7529
Wright7341
Boone7269
Mahaska70924
Bremer6879
Harrison67315
Washington66711
Jackson6463
Benton5982
Lyon5568
Clay5414
Louisa52515
Winnebago50219
Hardin4837
Winneshiek4839
Hamilton4784
Cedar4777
Kossuth4770
Buchanan4625
Poweshiek46211
Jones4544
Clayton4503
Floyd44011
Emmet43520
Iowa4189
Page4130
Guthrie40715
Cherokee4062
Mills4053
Sac4034
Cass4023
Butler3883
Fayette3844
Franklin38218
Shelby3812
Allamakee3809
Chickasaw3641
Madison3643
Clarke3573
Humboldt3383
Hancock3314
Grundy3186
Palo Alto3162
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Osceola2890
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Howard2749
Monroe26211
Union2524
Taylor2482
Jefferson2451
Monona2452
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Pocahontas2322
Fremont2091
Lucas2066
Ida1962
Greene1880
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Davis1794
Adair1771
Keokuk1641
Decatur1530
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Worth1460
Wayne1323
Ringgold922
Adams830
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