Comcast Bids $65 Billion for Most of 21st Century Fox

(From CNN Money)

The company on Wednesday formalized a $65 billion all-cash bid for most of Fox. It’s a dramatic attempt to thwart Disney, which reached a $52.4 billion deal in December for the same film and TV assets.

Comcast’s (CMCSA) move came one day after a federal judge approved AT&T (T)’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner (TWX). The Justice Department had sued to stop the deal. (CNN is a unit of Time Warner.)

The Comcast offer sets the stage for a high-stakes bidding war between two of the biggest players in media and telecom. Both Comcast and Disney (DIS) are eager to buy Fox to bolster their positions in a changing industry.

Consumers are cutting their cable subscriptions and spending more time with online services like Netflix (NFLX). Purchasing Fox is a way to scale up.

The winner of the Comcast-Disney showdown would get Fox’s movie studio, which is responsible for franchises like “Avatar” and “X-Men,” along with Fox’s regional sports networks and cable channels like FX and National Geographic.

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