Fox supremo Rupert Murdoch clearly thinks there is a high chance of the authorities blocking any move by Comcast for the assets Fox is looking to sell as he rebuffed an offer from Comcast a year ago for those assets that was more generous than the terms being offered by Disney.
Sources reported that the cable operator's attempt to outbid Disney's initial offer of $52 billion also hinges on whether the U.S. Department of Justice opposes AT&T Inc.'s (T) planned $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc.
According to the report, Comcast will only make a move on Fox if AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner is greenlit. In doing so, it topped an earlier offer for the entirety of Sky by Fox. Either way, the Fox shareholders would still have to approve any deal.
In addition, Comcast is racing to get speedy regulatory approval in the United Kingdom for their bid for Sky. Indeed, now Comcast is offering 22 billion pounds (about $30 billion) to acquire 61 percent ownership of Sky. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) takeover would obviously sink the deal between 21st Century Fox and Walt Disney Co.
Rupert Murdoch, who owns a almost 17-per cent stake in Fox and holds about 40 per cent of the voting power, prefers to be paid in stock rather than cash for the Fox assets, since an all-stock offer will not be taxable for shareholders, Reuters said.
Disney shares fell 1 percent in morning trade in NY, while Comcast's dipped 3.5 percent to $31.25. If the assets can be acquired, and if various other legal interests unrelated to the Disney-Fox deal go through next month, it just might now be the Mouse House who is standing alone at the corporate altar. It is also unclear how receptive Murdoch would be to an all-cash deal. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.