According to CNBC, media and cable giant Comcast (CMCSA - Free Report) approached 21st Century Fox (FOXA - Free Report) about potentially acquiring a good portion of its assets. And interestingly, Comcast would want to purchase the same bundle of assets that Disney (DIS - Free Report) had talked to Fox about earlier this year.
Those assets include Fox’s movie studio and television production divisions, and its cable networks FX and National Geographic. CNBC’s sources added that Comcast is also interested in the company’s international businesses, like the European pay TV provider Sky, likely to broaden its footprint outside of the U.S.
Shares of FOXA jumped over 6% yesterday in after-hours trading on the news, and are up about 4.3% to $30.58 per share in afternoon trading. However, CMCSA stock is trading down roughly 1.6% in the same time frame.
Just like in a potential deal with Disney, any acquisition by Comcast would be under the same regulatory scrutiny. While no media company can own two broadcast networks, neither of these two conglomerates are interested in buying up all of Fox, said CNBC’s sources.
Fox would still keep its profitable news and sports assets, since the company “is said to believe that a more tightly focused group of properties…could compete more effectively in the current marketplace.”
But it’s not just Comcast and Disney that are apparently interested in scooping up most of Fox. According to Reuters, telecommunications behemoth Verizon (VZ - Free Report) is also said to be exploring a deal; its sources said Fox’s assets could give the company ownership of movies and television shows to stream to its mobile subscribers. While a movie studio would be quite a departure for Verizon, content from the likes of Fox could a smart way to spice up its upcoming streaming service as well as boost the company’s targeting advertising.
Of course, no official deal has been laid on the table by any of these companies, and right now, it’s all just talk, rumors, and speculation. But as the U.S. Justice Department preps a lawsuit to block the AT&T (T - Free Report) -Time Warner (TWX - Free Report) merger, it seems a risky time to propose any sort of major industry deal or acquisition.
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