Comcast announced this morning that it’s halting its efforts to acquire the film and television assets of 21st Century Fox.
Disney made a deal to acquire those assets last year, but after a district court judge approved the merger of AT&T and Time Warner (despite the antitrust-related objections of President Trump’s Department of Justice), Comcast announced another, higher bid.
That, in turn, prompted Disney to make an even higher offer of $71.3 billion (split between cash and stock). With Comcast dropping out, it seems like this bid will go through — if it can get regulatory approval.
Comcast says that instead of continuing to pursue a Fox acquisition, it’s focusing on its offer to acquire British satellite broadcaster Sky.
Another possible factor: The DOJ says it’s appealing the court’s approval of the AT&T-Time Warner merger.
“I’d like to congratulate Bob Iger and the team at Disney and commend the Murdoch family and Fox for creating such a desirable and respected company,” Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts said in a statement.
As of 10:08am Eastern, Comcast shares were up 2.85 percent and Disney shares were up 2.52 percent, while 21st Century Fox shares had dropped 1.68 percent.