By Steven Zeitchik | Washington Post

NEW YORK – Comcast made a stunning $65 billion bid Wednesday for 21st Century Fox in what is expected to be the first of many attempts to buy up pieces of the entertainment world in the wake of AT&T’s decisive legal victory over the government to buy Time Warner.

Comcast’s offer sets up a battle of wills between two of the most dominant and deep-pocketed entertainment companies in the world – Walt Disney and Comcast, the nation’s leading cable company which already owns Universal Studios and NBC. Comcast’s offer is about 19 percent higher than what Disney offered late last year.

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But the headline-grabbing bid is unlikely to be the last to be announced in the coming months, given the government’s failed attempt to stop AT&T from purchasing Time Warner. Media and entertainment stocks soared Wednesday on speculation of a wave of consolidation in the industry.

Comcast’s is an all-cash deal at a significant premium over Disney’s $52.4 billion all-stock package. Its move will likely trigger a new offer from Disney and even a bidding war as two media giants battle for dominance both at home and overseas.

The fight will play out in real time over the next week as Fox readies for a scheduled board meeting on June 20 at which the issue will be raised. A meeting with 21st Century Fox shareholders on July 10 to discuss the offers will further cement the company’s fate.

Comcast Pictures, had been waiting to see if the courts were willing to condone vertical integration – the combining of two dissimilar businesses – before proceeding. With the ruling Monday in favor of the tie-up of a …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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