Disney’s $52.4 billion plan to buy 21st Century Fox might be at a standstill thanks to Comcast, who is offering Fox a bigger counter-offer.
Comcast announced via press release that the company “is considering, and is in advanced stages of preparing, an offer for the businesses that Fox has agreed to sell to Disney (which do not include the Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox Broadcasting Company and certain other assets).” USA Today reports that Comcast’s bid could be $60 billion.
Any offer, Comcast stated, “would be all-cash at a premium to the value of the current all-share offer from Disney.” At this point, no final offer has been made. More than likely, this is because Comcast is waiting to see if AT&T will successfully acquire Time Warner despite the Justice Department contesting the buyout. A federal ruling on the possible acquisition will be made June 12.
This isn’t the first time Comcast has tried to buy Fox’s assets; the company tried last fall before the Fox-Disney deal–at that time, anti-trust concerns caused talks to fall through. However, if the June 12 ruling is in favor of AT&T, Comcast might go forth with its bid for Fox.
According to NBC News, a subsidiary of Comcast, Fox and Disney have reportedly said they are continuing with the merger. However, a potentially more-expedient all-cash offer is something to consider, and with this type of wrench thrown into the proceedings, it causes followers of this developing drama to wonder what could happen with Marvel’s plans, particularly Marvel’s hopes to retrieve the rights to several of its characters from Fox. As you might recall, the last news about the Fox-Disney merger was that Dark Phoenix would be the last Fox Marvel film before the merger becomes finalized and the X-Men’s integration into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) was “a done deal.”
If the Comcast-Fox merger does go through, we can probably say goodbye to ever seeing some of our favorite characters, including the Fantastic Four and Deadpool as well as the X-Men back under the Marvel banner. If that’s the case, it’s difficult to say how this might affect Marvel’s designs for future MCU phases. All that can be done right now, though, is to simply wait and see what happens.