Comcast drops out of bidding war with Disney over Fox

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But settling for Sky represents a comedown for Comcast, which is looking for ways to grow and compete with Netflix. This comes after they placed a $65 million bid to compete with Disney, who later won the war with a bid of $71.4 billion. Despite the clearance, satellite pay-TV group Sky could still end up being bought by Comcast or Disney amid a United States media industry tug-of-war.

After initially winning a bidding war with Comcast for Fox's assets, we all thought that Marvel's characters were coming home to the MCU.

Bottom line: The real victor here, it seems, is Fox.

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But it wasn't the only factor. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, meanwhile, has been branded the industry's boogeyman because of the company's tough stance in negotiating carriage deals with content companies.

Comcast, however, became an alternative suitor in December, but Murdoch was wary, at least partially due to the regulatory hurdles that deal might face.

AT&T didn't object to the expedited timeline, according to the filing. All in all, the deck seemed stacked in favor of Disney.

Last week, Comcast increased its offer for Sky to value the business at £26bn, just after Mr Murdoch's company raised its bid to £24.5bn.

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Fox has been trying to buy the 61 percent of Sky it doesn't already own.

Comcast dropped its bid for the Fox assets because it was concerned the price was becoming too high, even though its banks were ready to finance a new bid, according to the sources. Disney then countered the offer with a $70.4 billion bid of cash and stock. Though some on Wall Street think that's unlikely. Both Comcast and Disney had been coveting the prized assets being sold by Murdoch, which include the Fox studios in Hollywood and important film and television production operations.

But Fox is now serving as a stalking horse for Disney's interest in Sky.

"Why give up, when the overall cost differential is effectively 1.1% to Disney?" notes Greenfield.

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For Comcast, a Sky deal would make it the world's largest pay-TV operator - it is already the biggest in the USA - and at a stroke reduce its nearly total dependence on the United States for revenues. "But the problem is that none of these exclusives can be counted on to last". So Disney and Comcast may yet have to duke it out in that regard down the road.

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