“Comcast Corp. said on Monday it had abandoned its bid for most of the assets of Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc., leaving Walt Disney Co. as the sole suitor in pursuit of the $40 billion-plus deal,” Reuters reports.
The report, which cites unnamed sources, notes that Disney was considered the leading contender even last week to acquire the assets, which include the cable channels FX and National Geographic along with the movie studio.
“The Murdoch family, which controls Fox, prefers a deal with Disney because it would rather be paid in Disney stock than Comcast stock, and expects a potential deal with Disney to be cleared by U.S. antitrust regulators more easily, one of the sources said,” Reuters reports.
Comcast said in a statement: “When a set of assets like Fox’s becomes available, it is our responsibility to evaluate if there is a strategic fit that could benefit our company and our shareholders. That is what we tried to do and we are no longer engaged in the review of those assets. We never got the level of engagement needed to make a definitive offer.”