The bidding war for 21st Century Fox continues. Last week, Comcast made a $65 billion all cash offer for the company, but now Disney has answered back. Variety reports that Disney is raising its offer to $71.3 billion in cash and stock. Per Variety:
Disney said it would now pay $38 per share for Fox, up from its initial bid of $28 per share. The deal would be about 50% cash and 50% stock, and debt would be used to partly finance the transaction.
Despite the sweetened offer, Fox’s board said it retained the right to weigh competing bids. Comcast, which had proposed to pay $35 per share, declined to comment on Disney’s freshened offer.
No matter who ends up with Fox, it’s going to be bad news for consumers. Although both Disney and Comcast are making these offers so they can be more competitive in the streaming space and compete with Netflix, at the end of the day this is going to mean fewer choices for consumers as giant companies like Disney and Comcast become even bigger. To simply look at this and wonder, “Who gets the X-Men” is to only see the minutiae of the deal and miss the bigger picture.
However, it does seem like between the two companies, 21st Century Fox is warmer towards Disney than Comcast:
“We are extremely proud of the businesses we have built at 21st Century Fox, and firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace at a dynamic time for our industry,” said Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox. “We remain convinced that the combination of 21CF’s iconic assets, brands and franchises with Disney’s will create one of the greatest, most innovative companies in the world.”
Of course, Fox will ultimately go with whichever company gives them a better deal. Although the Disney deal gives fans a few perks in their favorite franchises, it’s a long-term loser for consumers in general.