As if this tangle of bids and counter-bids could be any more complicated, Reuters says that Comcast's head honcho, Brian Roberts, will only pull the trigger on the Fox deal if a federal judge green-lights AT&T Inc's (NYSE:T) planned US$85bn acquisition of Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX).
Disney and Fox last month laid out the rationale and backstory of the deal in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, which included details of Fox's discussions with Comcast prior to setting the Disney agreement on December 14. However, 21st Century Fox ultimately rejected Comcast's offers due to antitrust concerns. Sources informed the media that Comcast wouldn't make the offer to Fox until the court rules out the decision next month. After its bids fell through, the company still sought to purchase European pay-TV group Sky, offering up $21 billion, which is said to be 16% higher than the bid received by Fox's Rupert Murdoch.
Disney announced late a year ago its plans to acquire most of 21st Century Fox's assets for $52.4 billion. That opened the door to Comcast's counteroffer. But Disney would get 20th Century Fox's movie studio as well as Fox's cable and worldwide broadcasters such as National Geographic, Sky and FX.
Comcast has already made a formal unsolicited $31 billion offer in Europe for Sky satellite-TV business, which is partly controlled by Murdoch.
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Fox shares rose 5.13 percent to $39.99 on the news in after-hours trading in NY on Monday.
Comcast Corporation shares were unchanged in premarket trading Tuesday.
Comcast rival Verizon is also reportedly interested in buying Fox, so a deal certainly won't come easily for any party.
Shares of Fox were last up 2.2 percent at $38.86. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments.