Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox shares were in the spotlight Wednesday amid reports the two media-entertainment powerhouses were readying a major deal for some of Fox's prized television and film assets.
Disney first approached Rupert Murdoch several weeks ago to propose buying Fox's television and movie studio, 22 regional sports networks, a stake in Hulu and worldwide television assets, but talks stalled.
Disney is believed to be bidding for the Fox studios known for their film and television productions as well as the cable channels FX and National Geographic, plus the company's 39 percent stake in British-based pay TV group Sky.
Fox, now home to the Avatar and X-Men film franchises, would be left with its broadcast network and Fox News Channel.
While the idea of having the X-Men team up with The Avengers should, on the surface at least, sound really appealing, there are a whole raft of consequences that would accompany a Mickey-themed takeover of 21st Century Fox.
The Mouse House is close to buying some of Rupert Murdoch's media empire, to better compete with Netflix.
It is not known if Murdoch, who is now the Executive Co-Chairman at 21st Century Fox, would maintain a role inside the company or if he would take some time off to celebrate being newly Wednesday for the fourth time to supermodel wife Jerry Hall.
The Fox film lot in Los Angeles has a long history. Boss Bob Iger has pulled off other surprising deals.
The deal values the assets at about US$60bn, including debt.
The Murdoch family will own 5pc of Disney following the deal, and will also still own News Corp, which includes titles The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun.
"We want to address the headlines about us possibly talking to other companies about a potential transaction", the Murdochs said in the December 7 email.
Comcast issued a statement saying it was never able to secure the level of engagement needed to pursue a deal with Fox.
The merger of the two movie studios and Disney's dominant position in sport could be raised as a possible competition concern. "In every way, our focus is on our businesses and on the welfare of all our colleagues".