Comcast is considering pursuing 21st Century Fox yet again, according to a report published Sunday night by the Wall Street Journal.
Comcast’s initial bid was rejected by Fox, which instead struck a deal with Disney in December — a $52.4 billion, all-stock deal to acquire 20th Century Fox movie and TV studio, international pay TV properties, and other entertainment and sports assets from Rupert Murdoch’s empire. Comcast’s bid was reportedly higher, in the low $60 billion range, but according to the Journal, it was rejected by Fox amid concerns that such a deal could face antitrust issues.
Comcast had bowed out of the race just before the Disney deal closed. “We never got the level of engagement needed to make a definitive offer,” said Comcast in a statement at the time.
But Comcast executives were known to have strongly considered making a counter bid against Disney when the Disney-Fox deal was first unveiled Dec. 14.
They may well wait a few weeks before a formal bid to see how the AT&T-Time Warner antitrust deal plays out. That trial is scheduled to start in federal court in Washington, D.C. on March 19.
Comcast may ultimately choose to take no further action, according to the Journal, adding that the release of a proxy statement by Fox on the merger process may impact their decision about whether to make a bid.
Comcast declined to comment.
(Pictured: Comcast chairman-CEO Brian Roberts)