After AT&T: Comcast Offers $65 Billion for Fox Assets

Comcast readying new bid for 20th Century Fox film and TV assets

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In mid-December, The Walt Disney Company announced it would purchase 21st Century Fox, including the 20th Century Fox Film and Television studios, along with cable and worldwide TV businesses, for $52.4 billion.

Trump, who despises CNN, had threatened to kill the deal when it first surfaced in October 2016, when he was a presidential candidate. The younger firms produce content, sell it online directly to consumers and often offer lucrative targeted advertising. With the Fox deal, Disney would get more content for those services - through the studios behind the Avatar movies, "The Simpsons" and "Modern Family", along with National Geographic.

The deal doesn't include the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network.

On the most direct impact, shares of AT&T t , which were already up 6% over the past week, gave up some of that gain during after-hours trading and declined 2%. Previous reports had claimed that Comcast was preparing billions to bid on the assets.

He said that, without those undertakings, he would have to block the takeover - but stressed this was not his "preferred option".

Comcast offered $35 per Fox share for the media assets, compared with Disney's stock offer, worth $29.18 per share at the close of trade on Wednesday. If Fox pulls out of the Disney deal, they will have to pay a multi-billion penalty. Fox shareholders are set to vote on the Disney bid on July 10.

Comcast said it meant to pursue its $30 billion acquisition of Sky Plc in parallel with its Fox bid.

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In response, Fox said it would "carefully review" Comcast's unsolicited proposal. The Justice Department had argued that letting AT&T (a content distributor) combine with Time Warner (a content creator) would reduce competition between the mobile-phone giant and its rivals, and thus, hurt consumers.

Many antitrust lawyers predicted that AT&T would prevail.

"Compare today to the 50s or 60s when we had three television stations and you had one AT&T that was, then, protected by government monopoly", Crews said.

"Any deal that's coming down the pike that's not baked yet knows the government's playbook". They have been increasingly calling for the government to break up Silicon Valley giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon and to prevent greater consolidation in health care, media, transportation and agriculture.

Makan Delrahim, assistant attorney general for antitrust, recently signalled that regulators were open to the combination. Comcast stock dropped as much as 1.6% immediately after the announcement was released just after 4 p.m. ET, and Disney was down as much as 0.4%.

The move by Comcast, which is the largest USA cable provider and also owns the NBCUniversal media group, opens up a new round of competition for the prized assets being shed by the Murdoch family empire. "This is a golden offer that will put considerable pressure on (Disney CEO Bob) Iger and Disney to step up their game on another bid", GBH Insights analyst Dan Ives said. He said Comcast's proposal is at least as likely to pass muster with regulators as Disney's.

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