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21st Century Fox shares soar after report of sale talks with Disney
07 November 2017, 01:38 | Jermaine Blake
Michael Loccisano Getty Images File
21st Century Fox has been engaged in internal discussions over the possibility of selling most of the company to Disney, CNBCreported on Monday. Rather, the Fox broadcast network wouldn't be part of this potential deal, nor would its business or news channels, its local affiliates, and similar. It would also prevent concerns about anti-trust practices, as Disney also owns ESPN and ABC News, which could be seen as direct competitors to Fox Sports and Fox News. Disney, which under US rules could not own two broadcast networks, would not purchase all of Fox, CNBC reported, citing the same sources. Even before the latest round of consolidation, News Corp., the original parent company of 21st Century Fox, had tried to buy Time Warner itself. The fact that Disney and Fox were in talks in the first place would indicate that there remains a chance, however slight, that the studios might yet come to an agreement. If a deal were to be worked out, Disney would also take control of Fox's TV production wing as well as worldwide assets.
It is reported that FOX is hoping a news and sports focus would help them as the world of pay-TV is changing. While that particular merger would be made more fantastical by a Disney-Fox deal, the feasibility of the concept alone shows why Fox might consider itself outclassed. Disney already owns ABC, and therefore can not also own another broadcast network, due to FCC regulations.
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"I see lots of synergies for Disney". Yes, the Fox broadcast network would still have plenty of non-sports content, but if their TV studio was included in this sale, they'd have to pick up their scripted programming elsewhere instead of in-house. Right off the bat, you could expect Fox's X-Men (including Deadpool and Wolverine) and Fantastic Four properties to be properly incorporated into Disney'sMarvel Studios, helping them get one step closer to bringing all their wayward comic book assets back under one roof. But 21st Century Fox wouldn't sell all of its company.
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