Fox shares leap on reports of Murdoch family talks with Disney

07 November, 2017, 01:41 | Author: Rita Burton
  • Officer Bob Iger holds a news conference at Shanghai Disney Resort as part of the three-day Grand Opening events in Shanghai China

Reports are coming in from several outlets which state that 21st Century Fox, for the past few weeks, has been holding talks focused on selling most of the company to the Walt Disney Company.

Fox would continue to own its broadcast network and TV stations, cable news networks and sports businesses.

The company could not own two broadcast networks and would therefore not buy the Fox broadcast network.

Shortly after the initial report surfaced that Disney had entered into talks with 21st Century Fox to acquire the latter's movie properties ad right, a second report has arrived throwing that deal into doubt.

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Marvel CEO/Chairman Ike Perlmutter has been said to be at odds with FOX Studios over their Marvel-owned characters, but now maybe the talks with Disney purchasing FOX (Perlmutter is one of the largest Disney stock shareholders), have changed things. It would also exclude Fox's sports channels to avoid regulatory scrutiny that would come on concerns that combining with ESPN is anti-competitive. Apple, which also reportedly eyed the company, has always been seen as a potential buyer for Disney.

Fox shares surged as much as 6.3 percent, and Disney rose as much as 2.4 percent. Disney already owns ABC, and therefore can not also own another broadcast network, due to FCC regulations.

The company would obtain 21st Century's film studio and television channels including FX, FXX, National Geographic along with global stations such as Star and Sky. That deal is now undergoing review by United Kingdom regulators.

The two companies did not respond to an AFP request for comment. But 21st Century Fox wouldn't sell all of its company. Fox, as well as Sony and other studios, bought up these rights granting 20th Century Fox the ability to make movies about Wolverine and Deadpool as well as other members of the X-Men family. So it would definitely be interesting to see how a more-focused-on sports Fox would do, and how investors would react.

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