Never one to look away from a good offer like the $65 billion Comcast finally put on the table today, Rupert Murdoch has potentially hit the pause button on the Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of much of his Fox empire.
“21st Century Fox has not yet made a determination, in light of Comcast’s proposal, as to whether it will postpone or adjourn the July 10, 2018 special meeting of stockholders to consider certain proposals related to the Disney Merger Agreement,” said the hard elbowed media giant in a statement this afternoon formally acknowledging the “unsolicited” offer from Comcast.
With their as yet unapproved deal with Fox seemingly made solid six months ago, Disney did not respond to request for comment on the Comcast bid or 21CF’s immediate reaction.
Regardless of if it is personal, business or a combination and how much Bob Iger might not be smiling right now, the Murdoch clan are corporately obliged to give the offer from the Philadelphia based owners of NBCUniversal due consideration. “21st Century Fox remains subject to the Disney Merger Agreement,” the company also said on Wednesday mere hours after the long expected Comcast bid was made official. “Consistent with the terms of this agreement and the fiduciary duties of the Company’s directors, 21st Century Fox’s Board, in consultation with its outside legal counsel and financial advisors, will carefully review and consider the Comcast proposal,” 21CF added.
Similar to the long contemplated Disney deal that was made public last December, the Comcast move is aimed at grabbing “the Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television studios, along with cable and international TV businesses,” as the Murdochs said today.
This big big bucks bid, of course, almost exactly 24-hours after a federal judge rejected arguments by the Department of Justice and approved the melding of AT&T and Time Warner. As the media landscape already start to tectonically shift and with just seven days until it is locked in, the DOJ has not yet revealed if they are going to appeal the AT&T-Time Warner deal.