Comcast may try to derail Disney's deal for Fox with new bid


Back in December, Disney said it reached an agreement with Fox to buy the company's film and TV studios, as well as its cable networks and worldwide TV businesses in a stock-based deal.

Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts only plans to proceed with the bid if a federal judge allows AT&T Inc's planned $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc to proceed, the sources said. Should the government prohibit the AT&T-Time Warner deal, Comcast would not bid.

Disney, which has been in the midst of the digital makeover to try and turn the company around, needs a swift and successful close to its pending 21st Century Fox deal.

For months, it's seemed like the deal between Fox and Disney was a done deal. Comcast, Fox and Disney declined to comment. After Disney seemingly had firm control of the situation after announcing the deal last December, the road to acquisition has not been as smooth as the House of Mouse would probably have preferred, as Comcast has now thrown its hat back into the ring. Comcast already has a $30 billion bridge loan to finance its Sky offer.

Comcast rival Verizon is also reportedly interested in buying Fox, so a deal certainly won't come easily for any party.

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Comcast successfully convinced US regulators to let it buy NBCUniversal in 2011 and has since turned that company's film, TV and theme park business into major revenue earners.

Comcast stepped up its push to buy UK-based Sky on Tuesday, keen to prove that it will face fewer regulatory hurdles in its $31 billion pursuit of Sky compared to Fox. Comcast used Disney and Fox's regulatory filings to hone its offer after its initial bid was rejected, so this one is sure to pack a punch if it comes to fruition.

As Reuters reports, the value of the latest Comcast bid for assets owned by Fox is unclear, but the $60 billion financing facility would give it ammunition to outbid Disney. In the United States, the Department of Justice said it opposes the deal due to antitrust concerns, with a final decision on the matter coming in June.

Shares of Fox were last up 2.2 percent at $38.86.