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Disney Raises Bid For 21st Century Fox To Nearly $70 Billion

June 20, 2018 - 5:27 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880/CBS News/AP) -- Disney has upped its bid for 21st Century Fox after Comcast had topped Disney’s original bid.

Disney on Wednesday made a $70.3 billion counterbid for 21st Century Fox Wednesday, following Comcast's $65 billion offer for the company.

Fox accepted the sweetened terms, saying it offers "a package of consideration, flexibility and deal certainty enhancements that is superior to the proposal made by the Comcast Corporation."

“This is Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. It’s not including Fox News a cable channel or Fox Broadcast Network, but it is including his Hollywood studio and the FX Cable channel and Sky and Star India which are some of his assets overseas,” Bloomberg Media reporter Gerry Smith said.

The battle for 21st Century Fox reflects a new imperative among entertainment and telecommunications firms. They are amassing ever more programming to better compete with technology companies such as Amazon and Netflix for viewers' attention -- and dollars.

Shares of Fox jumped $2.88, or 6.5 percent, to $47.16 in early trading, which may suggest investors are expecting Comcast to return with an upped bid. Shares of Disney rose 29 cents to $106.47 and Comcast shares rose 22 cents to $33.03 USD.

"The ball is now in Comcast's court," wrote New Street research analysts in a report. "Investors have been speculating that they could bid as high as $43-45."

The deal would include Fox film and TV studios, some cable networks and international assets. AT&T just bought Time Warner for $81 billion, after a federal judge rejected the government's antitrust concerns.

Smith explained why the assets are so valuable.

“There’s a couple trends happening in media now that make these assets very valuable. One is that media companies instead of running through cable providers they’re very interested in providing entertainment directly to the consumer over the internet and to do that you have to have a lot of intellectual property, you have to have a lot of different kind of shows,” Smith said.

He noted that 21st Century Fox has everything from “The Simpsons,” which airs on the Fox broadcast network, to “The Americans” on FX.

“Part of this is just getting more and more content that you can deliver over the Internet to consumers,” he said. “Another thing is that the U.S. TV industry has really, the growth has slowed down, and some of these Fox assets overseas are extremely appealing to both of these companies.”

(© 2018 WCBS 880. CBS News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.)