While everyone is buzzing over the prospect of the Walt Disney Company purchasing the entertainment entities of 21st Century Fox, there was another suitor waiting in the wings to scoop those assets up. But that ship has since sailed.
Comcast announced they are no longer in the running to purchase parts of Fox, further paving the way for the House of Mouse to acquire more assets for its already vast repertoire.
The new development was first reported by Reuters, with a source speaking under the condition of anonymity since the deliberations of the deal are ongoing and confidential.
"When a set of assets like Fox’s becomes available, it is our responsibility to evaluate if there is a strategic fit that could benefit our company and our shareholders," said the statement from Comcast. "That is what we tried to do and we are no longer engaged in the review of those assets. We never got the level of engagement needed to make a definitive offer."
So far, Disney is the most likely purchaser of these assets valued in the range of $40 billion, and many expect a deal to be announced some time this week.
The report from Reuters states that the Murdoch family, which controls parent company News Corp., "prefers a deal with Disney because it would rather be paid in Disney stock than Comcast stock, and expects a potential deal with Disney to be cleared by U.S. antitrust regulators more easily, one of the sources said."
Whether the deal goes through or not, all three companies have seen slight boosts to their values on the stock market.
Should Disney's purchase go through, they would gain a hold of a vast library of intellectual properties and content creators.
If Comcast were to get the assets, they would likely face more scrutiny considering they are a cable and internet service provider. Since they would be creating content and distributing it, Comcast could be blocked in their efforts much like the U.S. Department of Justice is suing AT&T in their attempted purchase of Time Warner.
We'll find out more about Disney and their acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets in the coming weeks.