After an almost certain victory for Disney was recently announced, Comcast has confirmed it’s pulling out of the bidding war it started with the Mickey Mouse company to acquire Fox’s media assets, including 21st Century Fox. The NBCUniversal owner originally bid $65 billion for the assets before Disney upped its own ante to $71.3 billion. In the end, it looks like the Walt Disney-founded media giant will be the new owner of Fox’s property.
Comcast had the following to say regarding the move.
“Comcast does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of the Twenty-First Century Fox assets and, instead, will focus on our recommended offer for Sky.”
Comcast CEO and chairman Brian Roberts also issued a statement congratulating Disney CEO Bob Iger on the victory.
“I’d like to congratulate Bob Iger and the team at Disney and commend the Murdoch family and Fox for creating such a desirable and respected company.”
In case you’re curious to know what happens between Disney and Fox now that the former is officially buying the latter’s assets, here’s a portion of our original article announcing the news last year.
So what does this mean for you, the end consumer? For Marvel fans, it means X-Men, Deadpool, and The Fantastic Four will finally be under the same roof as the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Disney says the deal gives them the opportunity to “reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof and create richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love.”
And for fans of the Avatar franchise which James Cameron is going ham at, it means Disney’s Pandora – The World of Avatar attraction at Walt Disney World Resort makes a lot more sense than before.
Hulu will also be undoubtedly be affected by this deal as well. When it closes, Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox will see the former gaining as much as 60% stock in Hulu, so some changes are bound to take place. Other shareholders in Hulu include Tim Warner and Comcast who will be reduced to 10% and 30% stakes, respectively.
Speaking of streaming services, acquiring 21st Century Fox also gives Disney a wider selection of content for its own streaming services from themselves and the folks at ESPN. Disney says the deal will allow them to “create more appealing and engaging experiences, delivering content, entertainment, and sports to consumers around the world wherever and however they want to enjoy it.”
Customers who are subscribed to Sky in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, or Italy may also see a change since Disney will now be taking over this division as well. Fox already owns a major stake in the company and plans on taking over it entirely before the Disney deal closes.
As for Fox, the company will be focusing on the arguably more profitable news and sports industries to further its business. It’ll focus stronger on its Fox News outlets and various affiliates alongside the Fox Sports and Fox Business divisions. the company finds ditching the entertainment industry the best move possible for its business, so it’ll be interesting to see how well it holds up in the near future.
Finally, Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO, will be extending his stay at the company to 2021, two more years than when he was originally planning on leaving.
With Comcast now out of the way, it’s only a matter of time until Disney officially acquires 21st Century Fox. They already have the Justice Department’s approval, after all. We’ll, of course, keep you updated on this story as more details surface.