Comcast Corp. may look to revive its bid to acquire 21st Century Fox despite the cable giant losing out initially in favor of an offer from Walt Disney Co. according to a Wall Street Journal report on Sunday. The assets for the deal included the Twentieth Century Fox movie and TV studio, global pay TV properties, and some United States cable networks and were made available to both parties.
Comcast's bid was reported to be higher at $60 billion but was rejected by Fox due to worries over anti-trust issues. The Disney deal has not yet closed, and Comcast has not decided whether it will act. "We never got the level of engagement needed to make a definitive offer", said Comcast in a statement at the time.
The Murdoch family, which controls Fox, preferred a deal with Disney because it would rather be paid in Disney than Comcast stock, and expects a potential deal with Disney to be cleared by USA antitrust regulators more easily, sources told Reuters in December. That trial is scheduled to start in federal court in Washington, D.C. on March 19.
Comcast declined to comment.
In addition to the proxy statement, a second key factor is the AT&T-Time Warner merger, which if allowed to pass could "embolden" Comcast for a second try, as that merger would weaken Fox's original argument of an antitrust risk brought about by a potential Comcast-Fox deal.
Disney struck a deal with Fox to buy film, television and worldwide businesses.
Should the deal be completed, Disney-owned Marvel Studios will be able to integrate Fox properties Deadpool, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four into the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe.