It looks like Disney may have pulled significantly ahead in the bidding war to acquire 21st Century Fox and its assets, as a new report from CNBC states that competing bidder Comcast is unlikely to make a another bid for 21st Century Fox's movie and TV holdings. Instead it's said that Comcast is focused on bidding for Britain's Sky television.
It's been rumored for weeks that Comcast could be taking such a turn with its bidding strategy, ever since the DOJ approved Disney's bid proposal back in late June. While Disney was approved to bid on Fox's TV and Movie holdings, it was deemed that the former was disqualified form taking over the Fox Regional Sports Network, as it would be too great of a monopoly. Sky television is an attractive prize for Comcast, as it would give the cable provider a much bigger extension into the UK market.
Currently, Disney's bid for 20th Century Fox is set at $71.3 Billion, which is a considerable increases on where talks started. Disney has been heavily interested in landing this acquisition, for some key strategic reasons. The first, and biggest point of appeal would be securing the full rights to remaining Marvel properties like the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises, allowing Marvel Studios full range of play with its Marvel Cinematic Universe. Additionally, Disney would also be able to own the complete library of Lucasfilm's Star Wars franchise, including the unaltered versions of George Lucas' Original Trilogy.
On the larger scale, 21st Century Fox's massive library of TV shows and movies would allow Disney to create a massive library for its upcoming streaming service - one that could make it an unrivaled player at both the box office and in content streaming. It would be such a big chunk of the entertainment industry under one roof, that the $70 billion would likely be earned back within a quick span of years. Of course, at the same time, there are legitimate concerns about having so much of popular entertainment and content controlled by one studio, essentially leaving very little for viewers to see outside the Disney brand. It's a big reason why the DOJ had to give approval - and why fans who haven't been fans of Disney-brand Star Wars, for example, don't want this deal to go through. It's not a done deal yet, though, as a Fox shareholder has filed a lawsuit to stop Disney's deal.
What are your thoughts? Do you want to see Disney get hold of 21st Century Fox? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!