It has been more than half a year since it looked like a case: ” Disney buys 21th Century Fox for 52 billion dollars “. They announced it themselves, so it had to be around. Not entirely, it turned out, because American cable operator Comcast also wanted to have Fox and was willing to pay more. This has led to an ordinary bidding battle and that has pushed up the price quite a bit. Now Comcast has given up, at least for the film studio, streaming service Hulu and channels such as Nat Geo and FX.
This means that we as consumers can count on more things to look at when Disney streaming service is coming, somewhere in the next two years. Perhaps not directly (this kind of takeovers always take a long time), but it’s coming. For that privilege, Disney finally pays more than was first agreed. The original bid stood at 52 billion, but now they are depositing $ 71.3 billion for Fox, when Fox shareholders accept the substantially higher bid next week.
It’s all about Sky
Why did Comcast give up? Too expensive? Not quite. Comcast certainly had interest in what Fox had, but one of the most important things that the conglomerate is behind is Sky. The British Sky, that is. Fox (later from Disney ) had a share of 39 percent, but is busy offering the other shareholders of Sky a bid for the rest of the shares. If that continues, Sky will soon be from Fox (later from Disney). But Comcast really wants Sky to have a terrible time. It provides them with 23 million customers in Europe. Although they are mainly in the slowly dying satellite business, they can be interesting in the future because of all kinds of other factors. Comcast has therefore also given up, with the message to Disney: give us Sky, then let’s leave the rest.
Who cares, right? Well, so we also do. Sky (probably Comcast soon) has various broadcasting rights for Europe, including those from HBO, the Premier League and the Bundesliga. They would also become major shareholders of the production company that makes The Great British Bake-off. If those things are all in the hands of Comcast, it probably means that if the current contracts expire, things will change.
We will have to pay
If you do not know Comcast: keep it that way, because it is by far the most hated company in America because of their practices. If they are going to have something to say about our entertainment offer in Europe, the chances that the offer will deteriorate and the price goes up are more than present.
Anyway, they have to win first. Disney is also very interested in Sky and they could also offer more for Sky than Comcast already does. If that happens, the puzzle becomes even more complicated, but as usual with this kind of big acquisitions, it is the investors who laugh. Our entertainment will probably only become more expensive in the long term, so there is actually nothing to laugh about with this takeover battle.