In an effort to wrest most of 21st Century Fox’s assets from Disney, Comcast today made a formal $65 billion all-cash bid for the same TV and film assets that Disney reached a deal for in December, CNN reports.
Disney’s agreement was for $52.4 billion.
The move by Comcast was expected after a federal judge ruled Tuesday that AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner could go forward after the Justice Department had sued to halt the deal.
“The offer sets the stage for a high-stakes bidding war between two of the biggest players in media and telecom. Both Comcast and Disney are eager to buy Fox as a way to bolster their influence in a changing industry,” CNN reports. “Consumers are cutting their cable subscriptions and spending more time with online services like Netflix. Purchasing Fox is a way to scale up.”
CNN adds: “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.”
The report notes that Rupert Murdoch would be retaining a few pieces of Fox, including Fox News, the Fox Sports national cable channels and the Fox broadcasting network, which will be spun off into a new company.