Comcast Mulls Renewing Its 21st Century Fox Assets Pursuit

Century Fox Studios flag flies over the company building in Los Angeles

Comcast Mulls Renewing Its 21st Century Fox Assets Pursuit

Comcast Corp is considering a new offer for Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox assets, despite an agreement in December to sell them to Walt Disney Co for $52.4 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. The assets for the deal included the Twentieth Century Fox movie and TV studio, worldwide pay TV properties, and some U.S. cable networks and were made available to both parties. Comcast's bid was reportedly higher, in the low $60 billion range, but according to the Journal, it was rejected by Fox amid concerns that such a deal could face antitrust issues. The Disney deal has not yet closed, and Comcast has not decided whether it will act.

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In response, Barclays said: " Barclays PLC and Barclays Bank PLC intend to defend the respective charges brought against them". It follows charges against the bank's holding company and four executives in June a year ago related to the same deal.

The Murdoch family, which controls Fox, preferred a deal with Disney because it would rather be paid in Disney than Comcast stock, and expects a potential deal with Disney to be cleared by USA antitrust regulators more easily, sources told Reuters in December. That trial is scheduled to start in federal court in Washington, D.C. on March 19. The Journal reported Comcast may choose to take no further action, and that Fox's upcoming release of a proxy statement on the process of the merger may influence the decision.

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Comcast declined to comment.

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