Last December, Comcast dropped its bid to purchase 20th Century Fox’s film and TV assets, paving the way for Disney and Fox’s multi-billion dollar deal. While that deal isn’t expected to close until sometime in 2019, many observers believed it was a sure thing. However, a new report suggests that Comcast is not only reviving its bid for Fox, but is also prepared to spend some serious money to do so.
Via CNBC, Comcast is attempting to secure financing for a $60 billion dollar cash bid for the Fox assets, which could potentially displace Disney’s bid. There are several factors in play. One of the reasons that Fox turned down Comcast’s higher bid last fall was over concerns that regulators would never approve that deal. That’s why all eyes are on the government’s lawsuit over AT&T’s potential merger with Time Warner. The CNBC report indicates that Comcast won’t approach Fox with an official offer unless the court finds in favor of the Time Warner merger.
If Comcast does go forward with its new offer, Disney and Comcast could potentially get into a bidding war for Fox’s assets. Either way, the Fox shareholders would still have to approve any deal. But the largest bid is still the most likely to walk away with the film and TV properties controlled by Fox. Losing this opportunity to own those titles would be a severe blow to Disney’s ambitions to challenge Netflix with its new streaming platform.
For Marvel fans, there is virtually no geek upside to Comcast’s bid. If Comcast succeeds, then the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and Deadpool will once again be prevented from joining the rest of the heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.