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Comcast Outbids Disney With $65 Billion Offer To Buy 21st Century Fox

Not so fast.

That’s what media conglomerate Comcast is saying to the Walt Disney Company, which reached a deal last December to buy the majority of assets belonging to Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion.

Today, Comcast, which also owns NBCUniversal, made an offer that tops Disney’s bid by around $13 billion. Comcast’s $65 billion all-cash deal sets up a potential bidding war between itself and Disney, both of whom are trying to replace sagging cable subscriptions with new content libraries (20th Century Fox/FX Networks), as well as gain other valuable assets like a 30% stake in Hulu, a nearly 40% stake in European pay tv operator Sky, and access to the Indian market through Star, a media company that reaches hundreds of millions of people in that region every month. (To put the scale of this deal into perspective, remember that Disney paid only $15.5 billion for Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel combined.)

Comcast’s deal follows yesterday’s decision by a federal judge to allow AT&T’s $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner.

Both Comcast and Disney now have to convince Fox shareholders that their offer is the strongest. Disney could also decide to make a more lucrative proposal. Fox has currently scheduled a vote on the Disney deal for July 10, though that could be postponed if new offers are made, or Fox executives decide that its shareholders need more time to review the current proposals.

Comcast is urging Fox shareholders to not give in to the Disney offer: “We believe that a vote against the Disney merger agreement proposal will send a clear message to the 21CF board that you firmly believe the Comcast proposal is a superior proposal, that you do not want the proposed Disney transactions to be completed, and that the 21CF board should instead engage in good faith with Comcast to negotiate and execute definitive agreements with respect to the Comcast proposal,” the company said in a filing with the SEC.

An overview of Comcast’s proposal can be found here.

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