Disney and Fox have agreed upon a bigger acquisition deal following a competing bid by Comcast. The last several months in Hollywood have come with massive changes to the studio structure. The biggest deal that will have major ramifications for the industry moving forward is Fox's decision to sell its movie and TV divisions. A bidding war quickly began with Comcast and Disney viewed as the most serious parties, and despite a higher offer from Comcast, Fox and Disney agreed to a deal worth $53 billion late last year.
The Disney-Fox merger hasn't officially happened though yet as it must first be approved by regulators. That shouldn't be a problem after Time Warners and AT&T's deal was approved. However, the smaller chance at a deal that won't hold up gave Comcast new life in this hunt for Fox's assets as they officially made a $65 billion bid.
Disney doesn't appear interested in letting this deal slip away. Bloomberg reports Disney and Fox agreed to an updated deal worth $71.3 billion. The increased bid comes with Disney offering larger shares and cash. Their report states Fox called this new deal "offers more flexibility and other enhancements than the Comcast offer." Under the new deal, shareholders at Fox can take payment in either stock or cash.
Despite Comcast's best attempts, this merger between Disney and Fox continues to move forward. Comcast could decide to come back with another offer that sweetens the deal further, but Disney still has the right to counter any subsequent offers. Considering they just raised their initial deal by $18 billion, there's yet to be a sense that Disney is losing this fight. After all, they've been working towards this deal for nearly six months now and the properties they'll receive are very much part of Disney's longterm plans.
It is no secret that a big part of Disney's future is coming with the launch of their own streaming service. Even though Disney has a long list of successful properties, they'll need even more content to keep people engaged. Acquiring Fox gives them properties like Avatar, The Simpsons, Planet of the Apes, Alien, and much more. There's also the ability for Disney to bring Marvel Studios a bulk of its unavailable characters back. The X-Men and Fantastic Four will be able to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe once this deal is made, giving the MCU an abundance of new and exciting characters to introduce.