Disney Prepares More Money to Stop Comcast’s Counter-Bid for Fox

While it’s incredibly likely that Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox should go through without much trouble, and that Comcast’s counter-bid will be rejected by Rupert Murdoch’s media company, the Mouse House is taking precautions to make sure that things move smoothly.


According to CNBC, Disney is prepared to pump more money into their $52.4B deal ($66.1B if you add the $13.7B debt that Disney will assume from Fox) if it means that Comcast will get off their backs. Word is that Comcast plans on making this counter-bid in the event that the merger between Time Warner and AT&T is approved. The tea leaves on that suggest that Time Warner may have to divest certain assets in order to get a deal approved by the Department of Justice; if that’s the case, then it’s likely that a particular Comcast-Fox merger would be faced with the same problems, while Disney likely would have fewer issues to worry about since it isn’t a cable and internet provider (the big point of contention with the AT&T-Time Warner merger).


Disney have previously indicated that they’re not giving up on Fox at all, as CEO Bob Iger specifically extended his deal with the company in order to oversee everything under the 21st Century Fox umbrella joining the Disney brand. Fox, in the meantime, has rejected earlier bids from Comcast, including one that would have been a bigger purchase than what Disney offered. Disney’s acquisition of Fox is meant to be a holistic process akin to what they’ve done with Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm – keep the subsidiary its own, mostly-autonomous entity instead of stripping it for parts (which is what Comcast apparently wants to do). This method results in fewer lost jobs and a more stable transition, both of which would be good for Fox’s stocks. However, with the deal not expected to go through at Disney until Summer 2019, there’s certainly no rush one way or the other.