Comcast drops out of Fox acquisition leaving path clear for Disney

Comcast Corp has announced that it is to formally drop out of a bid for the bulk of the assets of 21st Century Fox, leaving the path clear for Disney in the potentially $60 billion-plus deal.

In a statement issued on December 12th, Comcast said that it is no longer looking to acquire Fox’s film and TV studio and other assets.

“When a set of assets like 21st Century Fox’s becomes available, it’s our responsibility to evaluate if there’s a strategic fit that could benefit our company and our shareholders.  That’s what we tried to do and we are no longer engaged in the review of those assets. We never got the level of engagement needed to make a definitive offer. We have a terrific company with a strong portfolio of businesses and will continue to focus on driving growth, innovating, creating great content, and providing excellent experiences for our customers.”

The Disney-Fox deal has been rumoured for over a month, and reflects the increasing competition in the market from new content providers like Amazon.  Fox will be able to command a high price (Variety reports $70 billion-$74 billion enterprise value in an all stock deal) for its content production operations and IP library.

An announcement of the Disney-Fox deal is anticipated next week.

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