And then there was one. Today, the Philadelphia-based telecommunications conglomerate Comcast has officially dropped out of the bidding war for 21st Century Fox. In a statement released by the company, Comcast announced they would stop pursuing Fox’s assets and will instead turn their focus to the acquisition of the European British media company Sky. With Comcast suspending their efforts, Disney’s offer moves forward unchallenged for the moment.
This deal is just one in a long line of media and entertainment consolidation for the animation giant. Disney already owns Pixar Animation Studios, Lucasfilm Animation, Marvel Studios, American Broadcasting Companies, the A&E network, the History channel, and ESPN.
The acquisition of 21st Century Fox would mean that Disney would come into possession of even more content and intellectual property including the 20th Century Fox film studio, 20th Century Fox Television, the cable networks FX and National Geographic, as well as a 33% ownership stake in the online content streaming platform Hulu, of which they already own 33%.
The deal also has big implications for major film franchises as well. With the buy, Disney will snag franchises like The Simpsons, Avatar, and Alien. Disney will also be able to add even more characters into the ever-growing pantheon of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including the X-Men, Deadpool and the Fantastic Four. This could pave the way for even more jam-packed crossover features topping ambitious projects like Avengers: Infinity War.
The buy has already gotten antitrust approval from the United States Department of Justice, but will have to pass anti-trust hurdles in other nations next. For now, with Comcast dropping out, there is nothing to stop Disney from buying Fox for a cool $71.3 Billion. Shareholders for both Disney and Fox are scheduled to vote on the deal July 27th, and many expect the vote to pass given Disney’s support within Fox’s board of directors.