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Comcast will likely bid for Fox's entertainment business as early as Wednesday now that a federal judge has cleared AT&T's $85 billion takeover of Time Warner.
If Comcast succeeds in outbidding Disney for Fox, a major cable distributor would control even more channels on its lineup and those of its rivals. There are fears that it could lead to higher cable bills or hinder online alternatives.
US - District - Judge - Richard - Leon
But U.S. District Judge Richard Leon cleared the AT&T deal Tuesday despite similar concerns. The ruling signaled that federal regulators might have a hard time stopping companies from getting bigger by gobbling up rivals and the content they own.
Comcast isn't likely the only mega-media bid in the works. There will probably be a rush to consolidate. Even if a company doesn't need to get bigger right away, it might need to do so to prevent a competitor from doing so.
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Disney has made a $52.4 billion all-stock offer for the bulk of Twenty-First Century Fox, including the studios behind the "Avatar" movies, "The Simpsons" and "Modern Family," along with National Geographic. Marvel would get back the characters previously licensed to Fox, reuniting X-Men with the Avengers.
Comcast - Offer - Disney - Offer - Judge
But Comcast has said it is preparing an all-cash offer that is superior to Disney's. It will likely to make an offer soon, now that the judge has ruled in AT&T's favor, without setting any conditions.
David Turetsky, a professor at the State University of New York at Albany, warns that the AT&T ruling is based on "specific facts and evidence" that may or may not apply in other cases. Still, many of the circumstances in that case are similar with a potential Comcast bid.
Disney - Comcast - Bid - Disney
For Disney, a successful Comcast bid could make Disney's planned...
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