Comcast drops out of Fox bidding war, will focus on Sky

Comcast drops out of bidding war with Disney over Fox

Comcast drops bid for 21st Century Fox assets

"Comcast does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of the 21st Century Fox assets", Comcast said in a statement.

The US cable giant said that it would now concentrate on attempting to buy the United Kingdom pay-TV broadcaster Sky instead. That was the nail in the coffin for Comcast as they raised the white flag and the mouse stood victorious in the fight for Fox.

Last week, in a day of bid and counterbid, Comcast tabled a £26bn offer to buy Sky, trumping Murdoch within hours of the media mogul making a new £24.5bn offer.

Indeed, Comcast stock was up 2.8 percent in pre-market trading to about $35 a share. The agreement between the two companies states that Murdoch pays up to £13 a share, Disney for each £1 a share above that. Instead, Comcast has narrowed its focus to acquire Fox's coveted 39% share of UK's Sky, conceding the entertainment properties to Disney but remaining in the fight for an worldwide foothold.

Fox has been trying to buy the 61 percent of Sky it doesn't already own. We'll have to wait and see. In the wake of AT&T's success at acquiring Time-Warner, this seems less detrimental to a deal so much as whether Comcast can successfully split Sky off from the rest of the deal with Disney.

Disney and Fox did not immediately reply to requests for comment. If Fox is successful, then Disney will end up owning all of Sky.

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Comcast dropped its bid for the Fox assets because of concerns about price, divestitures it might be required to make to complete the deal and the impact on the value of its bid for Sky, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. It was also anxious how much revenue it would lose in divesting assets to appease US antitrust regulators.

Disney owns ABC, ESPN, Pixar, Marvel Studios and "Star Wars" producer Lucasfilm, plus an array of theme parks. The company is still looking to purchase global broadcaster Sky.

"Our view is that probably there is less chance of Fox/Disney coming back with an increased offer for Sky given that Comcast would have more available firepower", said Liberum analyst Ian Whittaker. The idea of a Comcast Fox deal is officially dead.

Still, Comcast dropping out of the 21st Century Fox bidding war means that Disney will obtain a treasure chest of valuable assets once the sale goes through. Lions Gate Entertainment Corp LGFa.N rose 5.2 percent on investor speculation it could become an acquisition target.

Comcast is abandoning its attempt to purchase 21st Century Fox properties, the cable company announced today. The U.S. Department of Justice last month approved Disney's deal with Fox.

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