Comcast, Verizon approached Twenty-First Century Fox to buy some assets

Nov 20, 2017, 01:56
Comcast, Verizon approached Twenty-First Century Fox to buy some assets

21st Century Fox surprisingly became a takeover target earlier this month when word first surfaced that Disney recently held talks with Fox about buying key assets including the film and TV production studios, global TV platforms including Sky and Star India and the FX and National Geographic cable groups.

The suitors are Comcast, America's largest cable company, Verizon, its biggest mobile network operator, and Sony, a big player in the American television, film and music businesses.

Disney had sought a stake in European satellite carrier Sky PLC, the National Geographic, FX and Star India cable networks, and the 20th Century Fox film and TV studio, people familiar with the matter said earlier. A new report states that Sony Entertainment is also interested in acquiring Fox's movie assets. The rise of online competitors like Netflix and YouTube has slowed the growth of pay-TV, and Comcast, the biggest USA cable provider, has been adding film and TV assets to ensure it has a hand in both programming and distribution. Shares of Viacom Inc and CBS Corp also rose more than 2 percent, a sign investors may see then as potential targets.

Selling the entertainment business would be a good deal for Fox, said MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson.

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Comcast has approached Fox about acquiring most of the company, sources told CNN this week.

News of the approaches came the same day the U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted to end a 42-year-old restriction on ownership of multiple TV stations in a major market, removing a major roadblock to media company mergers.

Shares of other media companies which could be dragged into a round of consolidation of USA film and TV production and distribution were largely unchanged.

Last month, the regulators said they would assess Rupert Murdoch's influence on the country's political landscape as part of their investigation.

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