As of this writing, Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, believes that Disney is putting out the better offer, but is totally open to accepting a bid from Comcast should they raise it.
Fox's board met Wednesday and was understood to be weighing the price tags of bids for the Fox assets that are for sale along with tax bills, which are higher for cash bids, regulatory concerns and other issues.
Bloomberg is now reporting the Walt Disney Company's potential purchase of 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets is about to pass antitrust approval from USA regulators, according to sources who know about the matter.
Comcast is yet to comment on the new deal. Disney will also now control the rights to such current Fox cinematic franchises as Avatar, Planet of the Apes, Alien, Predator, Die Hard, Kingsman, Ice Age and Night at the Museum.
Disney's original all-stock offer in December was for $28 per Fox share.
In a conference call with Wall Street analysts earlier this morning Walt Disney Company CEO, Bob Iger, spoke on the importance of closing the Disney/Fox deal to the company and its consumers. Last week, a judge signed off on AT&T's purchase of Time Warner, the parent company of CNN.
The fight for 21st Century Fox comes as traditional media groups scramble to consolidate in the face mounting competition from online challengers like Netflix and Amazon.
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Just how high can the bidding war go? Fox will have to pay Disney a $1.5 billion breakup fee if it backs out of that deal.
Reaching more than 1.8 billion subscribers in approximately 50 local languages every day, 21st Century Fox is home to a global portfolio of cable and broadcasting networks and properties, including FOX, FX, FXX, FXM, FS1, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FOX Sports, Fox Sports Regional Networks, National Geographic Channels, Star India, 28 local television stations in the US and more than 350 worldwide channels; film studio Twentieth Century Fox Film; and television production studios Twentieth Century Fox Television and a 50 per cent ownership interest in Endemol Shine Group.
Disney's new offer consists of $35.7 billion in cash, with the rest in stock. Both companies had been scheduled to hold shareholder meetings on the previously announced transaction on July 10.
Disney will also assume about $13.8 billion of net debt of 21st Century Fox.
Mr Murdoch, whose family trust has an economic interest of 16.6% in Fox, stunned the media industry when, just before Christmas past year, he agreed to sell most of the company to Disney in a deal that would represent the biggest shake-up in Hollywood since the 1930s - bringing together respectively the fourth and second largest movie studios in Tinseltown.
The 21st Century Fox logo is displayed outside the News Corporation building in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., June 15, 2018.