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After a summer of back-and-forth bids between Comcast and Disney for select entertainment assets owned by 21st Century Fox, Comcast today confirmed that it is bowing out of the bidding war for Fox. The company says the move is to instead focus on acquiring European satellite TV provider Sky, another much-sought-after entertainment company that is seeing interest from the likes of Comcast, Fox, and Disney (via Variety).

comcast-logo.jpg

For the purchase of 21st Century Fox, this means that Disney is now expected to finally win the bid and close out the acquisition deal in the near future. The most recent steps in that process saw Disney and Fox agree to a $71.3 billion cash and stock deal, which has now also been approved by the Department of Justice on the condition that Disney sells off 22 regional Fox sports networks.

In the announcement confirming that it will not place another bid on Fox, Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts congratulated Disney and its CEO Bob Iger:
"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," the company said in a statement Thursday.

Brian L. Roberts, Comcast chairman-CEO, added: "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."
Disney originally announced interest in acquiring 21st Century Fox last December, starting its bidding at $52.4 billion in stock before Comcast forced it to increase the amount and introduce a cash component. Once the acquisition is final, Disney will own Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television Studios and Fox-related cable and international TV businesses.

At the time, Disney leadership said that the new Fox assets will build on the company's "commitment to deliver the highest quality branded entertainment," as well as fuel its ability to "create more appealing content." The company also referenced its intent to deliver a "more compelling" entertainment experience to Disney consumers "whenever and however" they choose.

Disney said that the Fox assets would accelerate its use of certain technologies, including the recently acquired BAMTech platform, which it aims to use for its solo-streaming service. With the acquisition, Disney will immediately gain a large stable of old and new television shows and movies to populate its upcoming streaming service, expected to launch in 2019 and compete with Apple's own streaming TV service.

Article Link: Comcast Bows Out of Competition for Fox, CEO Congratulates Disney as Bidding War Ends
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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I thought they already did when Disney upped their offer to 71Billion. I thought the proxy votes for the merger were already mailed out to share holders. I don't think it even qualified for a bidding war, more like a bidding skirmish
 
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Once again I ask: where was Apple in this contest? And for the vast Warner library too?

I get the idea of making original content, but either or both MASSIVE libraries of content were basically offered up to the highest bidder. Imagine if Apple became owner of the Fox and/or Warner libraries of content (look these up if interested in this topic)... and acquired many decades experienced talent & content creation resources to drive Apple "Studios?" productions.

As to the Apple-Disney "friendship": Apple could have acquired Fox and sold/leased the Marvel & Star Wars properties to their "friend" or perhaps acquired the "friend" too to bring all that together. Perhaps they could have bartered that sale/lease in exchange for cash + releasing Disney-owned stuff in iTunes at 4K (will Apple's "friend" pull 4K Fox stuff too once this deal is done?)

Instead Disney gets to rule more of a vast content empire while Comcast still fully controls the content delivery pipe and are shifting their play to a major pipe on the other side of the world. Does Disney eventually control all content and Comcast basically controls all wired broadband pipes?
 
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haydn!

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Nov 10, 2008
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Interesting comments about their intention to focus on acquiring Sky... considering Fox own a major stake in Sky and I believe are currently in the process of trying to make that 100% ownership...
 

velocityg4

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Dec 19, 2004
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Now they just need to buy DC/Warner Bros for the comic book movie merger to be complete. Then we'll finally know if Batman can indeed beat everyone.
 

euvnairb

macrumors regular
Oct 13, 2010
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Interesting comments about their intention to focus on acquiring Sky... considering Fox own a major stake in Sky and I believe are currently in the process of trying to make that 100% ownership...
Comcast are just trying to screw with Fox (and effectively Disney) by bringing up the acquisition price.
 

Falhófnir

macrumors 603
Aug 19, 2017
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Once again I ask: where was Apple in this contest? And for the vast Warner library too?

I get the idea of making original content, but either or both MASSIVE libraries of content were basically offered up to the highest bidder. Imagine if Apple became owner of the Fox and/or Warner libraries of content (look these up if interested in this topic)... and acquired many decades experienced talent & content creation resources to drive Apple "Studios?" productions.

As to the Apple-Disney "friendship": Apple could have acquired Fox and sold/leased the Marvel & Star Wars properties to their "friend" or perhaps acquired the "friend" too to bring all that together. Perhaps they could have bartered that sale/lease in exchange for cash + releasing Disney-owned stuff in iTunes at 4K (will Apple's "friend" pull 4K Fox stuff too once this deal is done?)

Instead Disney gets to rule more of a vast content empire while Comcast still fully controls the content delivery pipe and are shifting their play to a major pipe on the other side of the world. Does Disney eventually control all content and Comcast basically controls all wired broadband pipes?
Don’t think it would have suited Apple at all, Apple want to make exclusive content for just their ATV and iTunes users, Fox makes cross platform content, investing the sort of yuge sums of money Apple would likely never make back doing it ‘their’ way.
 

euvnairb

macrumors regular
Oct 13, 2010
198
148
Goleta, CA
Finally. Hopefully the X-men get rebooted and follow the comics more. I still can’t beleive after 4 movies , Rogue didn’t do ****.

I actually thought the recent xmen movies were quite entertaining (I know a lot of people didn't like Apocalypse). However, I think MCU is setting itself up to introduce mutants in the near future (referring to the most recent Antman movie). All we've seen to this point are characters who have gained their powers, are aliens, or have unique skills. We haven't seen truly evolved humans with powers yet (ie mutants).
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
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Instead Disney gets to rule more of a vast content empire while Comcast still fully controls the content delivery pipe and are shifting their play to a major pipe on the other side of the world. Does Disney eventually control all content and Comcast basically controls all wired broadband pipes?

Wired broadband is increasingly irrelevant as cellular replaces it.

SpaceX has also announced their intentions to build a global high speed internet network to replace broadband. They're testing prototype hardware now, and say that once the design is finalized, rolling out enough to begin commercial service will take ~2 years and they expect the full deployment will take another ~4 years after that.

They've said the goal is to offer higher bandwidths, lower pings, and lower prices than current broadband.

It's going to be great shifting away from needing physical wires. Should increase competition, I think, and remove regional monopolies like Comcast.
 
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sputnikv

macrumors 6502
Oct 3, 2009
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Disney is the only provider that refuses to upgrade content to 4K without charging existing owners and customers. With this acquisition, a massive amount of content will never be updated and will only exist in 4K in Disney's own streaming platform. What a mess.
 

TaviDuprix

macrumors member
Mar 15, 2016
98
103
Tennessee
I tend to think that Apple doesn't get involved in these things because if you acquire content then you become an adversary to other content. By just going with originals they can present themselves as a neutral platform that can service all content. They just have to build a superior platform to other comparable offerings and then take a small cut from them all.
 
Don’t think it would have suited Apple at all, Apple want to make exclusive content for just their ATV and iTunes users, Fox makes cross platform content, investing the sort of yuge sums of money Apple would likely never make back doing it ‘their’ way.

I appreciate the reply. However, say you or I buy the Fox library instead. Once purchased, we OWN it. If we own it, does it have to keep operating exactly as it does or can we decide- say- we're going to take what is not already obligated and do whatever we want with it? Fox (and Warner) have 80+ years of accumulated content in their massive libraries.

Yes, there are certainly some current deals in place and yes, it's probably good business- maybe even a condition of the deal- that they honor contracts already in place. However, such contracts are rarely perpetual. So eventually, you or I as purchaser would regain full say in whatever we want to do with our content.

Now sub in Apple for us. 80+ years of content not already obligated in some contracts we want/have to honor could be an enormous base of (up to) exclusive content to underpin a little bit of brand new original content we're making ourselves. Look at a Netflix. Netflix has not always had a bundle of original content. It basically got its start on cheap deals for access to various studio's libraries of content. This would be almost the same except Apple as buyer could OWN this particular content instead of short-term lease access to it.

Oh, and sales & rentals of such content in the iTunes store would flip from 30% right off the top to upwards of 100% for Apple.

What is Disney going to do with this? Business as usual at Fox? Or take control of it's new property and do whatever Disney wants with it? Apple could have been a player here. Yes, cash in the vault might have fallen too far below the Exec diving board for a comfortable swim for a few quarters... but diving boards are pretty easy to movie... and it's only a few quarters to refill that particular pool.

And again: a deal Apple could have worked might involve buying this and then selling or leasing a few choice properties to Disney to reduce the total cost of the deal. Then, Apple gets the bulk of a huge library of well-regarded content, Disney helps pay for it by getting a few particular pieces of that library that Disney probably wants very much, and Apple can roll out an Apple-branded streaming service with a ton of original + classic content instead of trying to make a smallish bundle of original content try to carry the day on its own.

Nobody else- including long-term experts in this space- is trying to roll out their own streaming service solely or heavily on the strength of only original content. Instead, they are bundling some original with a good amount of established and/or classic content. Apple may break that mold here but they didn't even have to try to break it if they opted to use some of the cash hoard to be able to roll out a much deeper service... AND bring on a bunch of established expertise and talent to better help make this new strategic thrust go.
 
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