Comcast is reportedly stepping in with a $60 billion all-cash bid to thwart Disney's buyout offer.
It looks like Disney's big plan to buy a significant part of Fox's assets is not a sure thing. Three sources told Reuters that Comcast Corp.--a telecom behemoth and one of the biggest entertainment companies on Earth--is looking to pay $60 billion to make an "all-cash offer" for the parts of Fox that Disney previously agreed to buy for $52 billion.
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 international TV businesses in a stock-based deal.
This meant that Disney would have added X-Men, Avatar, and The Simpsons to its roster. While Disney and Fox's respective boards of directors approved the deal, it hasn't gone through yet. The deal was subject to approval from Disney and Fox shareholders, and it also needed to be approved by merger and regulatory reviews, as well as meet other "closing conditions."
As Reuters explains, Comcast tired to buy Fox last year but the deal never went through reportedly due in part to antitrust concerns. It sounds like Comcast's new pursuit of Fox isn't a sure thing either.
According to Reuters, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts will only push the deal forward if AT&T's massive $85 billion takeover of Time Warner is allowed to proceed. 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.
Disney said in its initial announcement that buying Fox assets would allow the company--which already owns Marvel and most of its properties--to "reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool" with the rest of its Marvel brands. Doing so would allow Disney to create "richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love."
Earlier this month, Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds revealed that Fox forced the Deadpool 2 filmmakers to cut a joke about Disney. The movie opens on May 18.