"As for Disney, this legal outcome was probably the least attractive as it will likely lead to an aggressive counter-bid from Comcast and an absence of heightened regulatory concern from the (21st Century Fox) board", writes Michael Nathanson, an analyst with MoffettNathanson, in a note to clients today. As reported by CNBC, the global telecommunications conglomerate was willing to offer $60B in cash for the Rupert Murdoch-founded company. Fox's film and studio content was expected to serve as key components of Disney's upcoming branded streaming service, which is set for release in 2019. Fox being sold off to another media company means that's one less place for storytellers to try to get projects made, which is bad news for anyone who values movies and TV that takes chances and colors outside the lines.
Comcast said it has offered $65bn (£48.6bn) in cash for Fox's film and television studios and worldwide businesses.
The fate of the AT&T Time Warner deal has been decided.
President Donald Trump also once weighed in on the deal, commenting that an AT&T victory would put too much power "in the hands of too few" ― but many speculated that his aversion to the merger had more to do with his issues with CNN than anything else (Turner Broadcasting is CNN's parent company). It's unclear at the present time if Fox will stick with the Disney deal or start a potential bidding war. This would be a direct move against Disney, which itself has been eyeing Fox.
Hulu is now jointly controlled by Disney, Fox, and Comcast which each own a 30 percent share.
Fox, which is led by Rupert Murdoch and his sons, rejected an offer from Comcast past year, citing concerns that antitrust officials would oppose a deal. Comcast, a distributor of content, would have access to Fox's popular franchises like X-Men and the Avengers as well its its production studios, to broadcast to its subscribers.
Shares of other media and telecom companies also rose, including T-Mobile US Inc, Sprint Corp, CBS Corp, Dish Network Corp, Discovery Inc and Viacom Inc.
The biggest impact of this deal will be felt quickly, as Comcast will now formally make an offer to Fox for the majority of its assets.
The new AT&T offers a wide variety of services. Comcast bid for Sky in April, after Fox's bid for the remainder of European pay-TV group it did not already own was delayed by regulators. It also offered to pay Fox's $1.525 billion breakup fee owed Disney, if Fox went with Comcast.
The firm is offering Fox $35 per share in cash, which it says provides more shareholder certainty and is 19% higher than Disney's proposal, which involves exchanging shares.
The DOJ filed suit against AT&T in November of a year ago, claiming that if the deal were allowed to go through, Time Warner's Turner television networks could be withheld from competing TV carriers or licensed at such a high cost as to give AT&T (who also owns DirecTV) an unfair advantage over its competitors.
But AT&T rejected that idea, stating in a court filing that, "Divestitures here would destroy the very consumer value this merger is created to unlock".