The battle between Comcast and Disney could turn out to be just a warmup bout in the fight to gain control of the bulk of 21st Century Fox’s media assets. Variety cites Wall Street analyst Barton Crockett saying a major tech firm such as Google, Facebook, Apple or Amazon could join the scuffle.
Up for grabs are the company’s entertainment studio, FX cable networks and other assets. Following the court decision this week enabling the AT&T acquisition of Time Warner to move forward, Comcast made a formal $65 billion bid Wednesday for the Fox assets — 19% higher than the bid Disney already had on the table.
“In response, 21st Century Fox said it was weighing the offer and that it hasn’t determined whether to postpone or cancel the scheduled July 10 shareholder vote on the Disney proposal,” Variety reports. “That could open the door for yet another spoiler bid, according to … Crockett.”
The report quotes Crockett, senior analyst at B. Riley FBR, writing in a research note that a delay on the Fox shareholder vote “could afford extra time for another player to get into the fray, such as a tech/internet company, which we would not rule out.”
Crockett also noted: “Fox’s content assets are uniquely impactful in the U.S., and its market-leading video presence in India, via Star, is potentially appealing to internet companies targeting the subcontinent.”
Variety notes that a number of tech firms have deep pockets that could enable them to easily top Comcast’s bid. “Apple has some $267 billion in cash and equivalents, and [Google parent] Alphabet has around $103 billion,” Variety reports.