Disney Prevails In Hunt For Fox As Comcast Drops Bid

Fox already owns 39% of Sky but has been trying to buy the remaining portion of the company. Many market analysts have concluded Comcast and Disney may reach a truce without even exchanging a word in private, carving up Fox's domestic holdings for Disney and allowing Comcast to take control of a majority of Sky's assets.

"I'd like to congratulate Bob Iger and the team at Disney and commend the Murdoch family and Fox for creating such a desirable and respected company", Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement released Thursday. Despite the clearance, satellite pay-TV group Sky could still end up being bought by Comcast or Disney amid a U.S. media industry tug-of-war.

Comcast's most recent offer for Sky values the broadcaster at £26 billion ($34 billion), up from its previous offer of £22 billion.

We wondered how far this race would last, we need wonder no more as Comcast have officially pulled out of the deal to acquire Fox.

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Disney fended off Comcast's $66 billion all-cash challenge to its deal for the Fox assets last month by sweetening its offer to $71 billion in cash-and-stock. The company is still looking to purchase worldwide broadcaster Sky.

AT&T bought Time Warner last month for $81 billion and has already launched its own streaming service, Watch TV, with Time Warner channels such as TBS and TNT, among other networks, for $15 a month.

This doesn't mean that Comcast isn't looking to expand their own media empire. Now the way is clear for Disney to own X-MEN, DEADPOOL, networks like National Geographic and FX, as well as Fox's 30% stake in Hulu, giving Disney a controlling 60% stake. The Fox assets being acquired include a cable group with FX Networks, National Geographic and 300-plus worldwide channels, plus Fox's stake in Hulu. Increasing the offer by £1 would add $1.5 billion of extra debt, and $60 million in annual interest costs, Disney has said. The idea was to sell Sky to Disney as part of the broader deal. Or will it continue fighting for an asset that CEO Bob Iger described as a "crown jewel" among Fox's assets?

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