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Walt Disney said to be nearing deal to buy 21st Century Fox assets

Comcast is also believed to be in negotiations with Fox
Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch (left) with wife Jerry Hall

Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) is said to be nearing a deal to buy most of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) with an announcement expected as soon as next week.

Disney is reportedly in advanced talks with Fox to buy its film studio, cable channels, a stake in the Hulu streaming service and international assets, including the Star cable and media company in India and British broadcaster Sky plc (LON:SKY).

Comcast is also believed to be in negotiations with Fox but the talks with Disney are moving faster, the New York Times reported, citing sources.

The sources told the newspaper that an agreement between Fox and Disney could be announced next week.

A potential deal would leave Fox with the Fox News Channel, Fox broadcast network and its sports rights.

It would also end Fox’s pursuit to buy the rest of the stake in Sky that it does not already own for £11.7bn.

The UK’s Competition Markets Authority is reviewing the deal after a referral by culture secretary, Karen Bradley, in September over worries about the level of influence it would give media companies controlled by the Murdoch family as well as its possible impact on Fox’s commitment to broadcasting standards.

A deal with Fox would boost Disney’s content ahead of its plans to launch its own video streaming service in 2019, preparing the company to go head-to-head with competitors Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX).

 Disney announced in August that it will end its distribution deal with Netflix in order to roll-out its streaming service.


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