Comcast's decision seemed in harmony with the views of many analysts who hoped that Fox, Comcast, and Disney would back off a bidding war over Murdoch's entertainment empire, with Comcast taking Sky for $34 billion and Disney taking the rest of the Fox entertainment assets for $71 billion.
Comcast said Thursday it will not pursue its bid for 21st Century Fox assets, opting to focus on its recommended offer for Britain's pay-TV Sky. Fox shareholders are set to vote on Disney's offer July 27.
The media giant said in a statement it would instead focus on acquiring the European pay TV operator Sky, shifting its stand on how it approaches the latest round of consolidation in the media-entertainment sector.
"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", said Roberts. Disney is the parent company of 6abc.
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Comcast dropped its bid for the Fox assets because of concerns about price, divestitures it might be required to make to complete the deal and the impact on the value of its bid for Sky, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
It looks like Disney will get the X-Men, while Comcast shifts its focus to the UK. Fans have long desired to see characters like the Human Torch or Wolverine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Fox's successful X-Men movie franchise has prevented any real talks from emerging.
Disney subsequently sweetened its offer to $71.3bn and recently gained regulatory approval in the United States, with Fox shareholders due to vote on the deal on the 27 July. Fox will maintain control of the main Fox broadcasting network, along with Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 and the Fox News cable network.