Comcast Corporation reportedly has made an overture to buy several 21st Century Fox properties including the movie and television studios and perhaps certain cable outlests, as well. This news comes exactly one week following reports that Disney had approached Fox to make a similar offer. Those talks apparently stalled because of dispute over stock share prices. On top of the news that Comcast has shown interest, word is that Verizon has suggested it, too, may be interested in buying the Fox film and television assets as well. These developments come days after some uncertainty surfaced regarding the long-planne merger of ATT&T and media giant Warner Bros. which owns not only film and television production companies but cable outlets including HBO and CNN. The status of CNN may be a sticking point in gaining approval from the Justice Department for the ATT&T-Warner Bros. merger.
It isn’t clear whether Disney will continue in its efforts to acquire 21st Century’s entertainment properties at this point. The company’s primary stockholders continue to be the Murdoch family which has indicated it plans to concentrate on its newspapers, the Fox News cable outlet, as well as its broadcast network of Fox affiliates.
It will be interesting to see whether a bidding war mounts among Disney, Comcast and Verizon. Regardless, shares of 21st Century Fox have risen some eight per cent on the day over these latest developments.