It all comes down to the potential AT&T and Time Warner merger, which the Justice Department sued to block last year. Under the administration of President Donald Trump, the $85 billion deal has been stopped in its tracks, as the communications company faces more scrutiny in their attempts to purchase a media provider.
But if the AT&T deal goes through, that would pave the way for big corporations like Verizon and Comcast to purchase media companies. And Comcast is considering topping Disney's offer. The report states that Disney is already prepping a response to Comcast's potential bid, which could be favored among Fox's shareholders. Rupert Murdoch went with the Disney deal over Comcast's in favor of the regulatory process, believing Disney had a better chance of obtaining their assets without any snags.
Comcast already purchased NBC Universal, so adding the various entertainment assets from 21st Century Fox would certainly bolster their portfolio. It remains to be seen if Comcast will indeed attempt to outbid Disney, if shareholders will reject Disney's offer in favor of Comcast, or if Disney will increase their own offer in response. But at the very least, there is now a possibility that Disney's plans could be derailed.
Of course, all of this seems to stem from Trump and the Justice Department's lawsuit blocking AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner. What happens in the courts could have a major impact on where the valuable Fox assets end up.
As more and more tech corporations like Apple, Amazon, and Facebook look at bolstering their offerings with media companies, Disney could be looking at some very stiff competition in the future. Outbidding a telecommunications giant like Comcast might not be feasible, and it could put a dent in their plans to strengthen their media empire.
So for those of you who were already planning on seeing an Avengers vs. X-Men movie in the future, you might want to put your expectations in check. Disney's plans to purchase Fox assets are still in motion, but they could quickly be derailed.