In a somewhat shocking piece of news, Comcast has decided to drop out of the bidding war for 21st Century Fox. This leaves Disney as the only company with an open offer for Fox, and thus the clear favorites to acquire Fox.
Comcast decided to drop out of the race after Disney’s latest bid of $71 billion, citing a desire to focus on acquiring European TV service, Sky. Previously, Comcast bid $65 billion for Fox, which was more than Disney’s original offer and started a “bidding war” for Fox.
Last week, Comcast boosted its offer for Sky to $34 billion after Fox increased its offer for the same company to $32.5 billion. According to the Associated Press, Sky “operates in Austria, Germany, Ireland, and Italy as well as the U.K. It has 22.5 million customers, attracted by offerings such as English Premier League soccer and “Game of Thrones”.
The Justice Department has already approved Disney’s purchase of Fox, as long as they divest themselves of Fox’s 22 regional sports networks. In addition, Fox shareholders are set to meet on July 27 to vote on the Disney purchase.
Brian Roberts, Chairman, and CEO of Comcast released a statement saying:
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.
Read our full timeline of the Fox acquisition saga here.