In the quest to acquire Fox, Disney has upped its latest bid to $71.3 billion. As we previously reported, whichever company acquires Fox will hold the fate of several of Marvel's most beloved characters, including the X-Men, Deadpool, and the Fantastic Four.
Disney's new offer, which is a mixture of cash and stocks, is significantly higher than its prior bid of $52.4 billion. It's also roughly $6 billion more than the bid made by rival Comcast last week, which tallied in at around $65 billion (Comcast is the parent company of NBC Universal, which owns SYFY WIRE).
According to Variety, Disney CEO Bob Iger held a conference call with Wall Street analysts, saying, "We have a much better opportunity in terms of approval and the timing of that approval than Comcast does in this case. We are confident we have a clear and timely path to approval."
While a counter-offer by Disney was expected, the $70-plus billion figure is reportedly higher than what many insiders were counting on. It's also likely no coincidence this revised bid also came on the same day Fox was set to assess the bid made by Comcast.
Speaking to Deadline, Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch said, "We are extremely proud of the businesses we have built at 21st Century Fox, and firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace at a dynamic time for our industry. We remain convinced that the combination of [Fox's] iconic assets, brands, and franchises with Disney’s will create one of the greatest, most innovative companies in the world."
It certainly seems like the heads of both Disney and Fox are confident in Disney's eventual acquisition. Disney's also likely driven to re-acquire the screen rights to all of Marvel's principal characters, which could bring them all together in the ever-expanding (and increasingly profitable) MCU.
This would also mean that Fox's numerous other properties, including icons like The Simpsons, would belong to the House of Mouse.
Granted, even if Fox agrees to a deal, the merger would still be subject to approval by the Federal Trade Commission. Though it's worth noting a federal judge did approve of the $85.4 billion merger between AT&T and Time Warner on June 12, indicating whatever deal Fox does accept will likely be signed off on as well.
We'll keep you posted as more information about this bidding war becomes available.