Marvel Studios' parent company Disney would very much like to get its hands on all of the sweet, juicy, profitable comic book IP that Fox smartly secured back in the '90s, but the House of Mouse's tentative $US52.4 billion offer might no longer be enough to seal the deal.
Today, Comcast made the surprising announcement that it's considering whether to make a "superior all-cash offer" to acquire 21st Century Fox - a direct challenge to Disney's all-stock offering:
"Any offer for Fox would be all-cash and at a premium to the value of the current all-share offer from Disney. The structure and terms of any offer by Comcast, including with respect to both the spin-off of "New Fox" and the regulatory risk provisions and the related termination fee, would be at least as favourable to Fox shareholders as the Disneyoffer.
While no final decision has been made, at this point the work to finance the all-cash offer and make the key regulatory filings is well advanced."
Currently, Disney and Fox's shareholders are scheduled to meet this summer and vote on whether that particular acquisition offer is to the liking of all parties. Obviously, $US52.4 billion in Disney stock is nothing to sneeze at, but Comcast's decision to bring cold hard cash to the table is a bold move that can't be ignored. This isn't actually the first time that Comcast has made a bid for Fox's assets, though previous negotiations stalled due to serious antitrust concerns. But with AT&T and Time Warner's potential merger looking more and more like it's going to happen, there's a chance that another deal between Comcast and Fox might not draw as much concern.
All of this really boils down to these companies needing to buff out their catalogues of content in order to prepare for the future of entertainment: streaming. Disney's got a service in the works, Comcast wants to grow theirs, and now Fox has to decide which suitor it wants to take to the ball.