Never bet against Mickey and the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
Comcast announced Thursday morning that it was dropping out of the race to buy 21st Century Fox assets. That's a big win for Disney, although the fight is not yet won. In a movie, this would be the climactic moment, but in real life these legal battles are long and rather dull.
A remaining snag is that Comcast still wants to bid for British broadcaster Sky, which Disney is also trying to buy through 21st Century Fox. So that will continue for a while.
But still! The BIG deal appears to be official.
Comcast had offered $65 billion cash to top Disney's initial offer. Disney countered with $71.3 billion in cash/stock. There was an issue with regional sports networks, and Disney agreed to sell those off to get Department of Justice approval. Comcast was expected to make another offer, but instead they're moving on and focusing on Sky.
According to CNN, Rupert Murdoch's empire will retain its broadcast, news and national sports programming, including Fox News, Fox Business and Fox Sports. The new company, known as "New Fox," will be headed by Lachlan Murdoch.
Here's a statement from Comcast chief Brian Roberts, ceding victory to Disney:
"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."
This means it's really happening: Fox's Marvel characters like the X-Men, Deadpool, and Fantastic Four will be in the same family as the MCU Avengers.
Fans are pretty excited:
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige had said we would be "years away" from any X-Men/Avengers integration, even if the deal went through. He's already planned MCU movies for several years into the future. But now he has even more options to play with.
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