While Fox's board has yet to make a decision, analysts and industry dealmakers widely expect Fox to say that Comcast's bid could potentially lead to a better deal for its shareholders. The battle for Fox has transfixed the media business, pitting Disney chief Bob Iger and Comcast head Brian Roberts against one, as the control of one of Hollywood's most storied film and television brands hangs in the balance.
For movie fans, as of now this means that presumed plans to reintegrate characters like Fantastic Four and X-Men (including Deadpool) into Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe remain intact, as does the total acquisition of Fox's distribution rights to the original 1977 Star Wars for Lucasfilm.
FILE PHOTO: The Twenty-First Century Fox Studios flag flies over the company building in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 6, 2017.
"Because of the liabilities of the board I don't think they can outright say no to Comcast's offer".
Fox could also rebuff Comcast's bid. "You at least need to do some kind of review process", he said. AT&T just bought Time Warner for $81 billion, after a federal judge rejected the government's antitrust concerns.
Directors can either begin that process by declaring on Wednesday that Comcast's proposal has a reasonable chance of becoming a superior offer, or they can simply ask Disney for a waiver to begin conversations with Comcast.
Craig Moffett, an analyst at Moffett Nathanson, said that the Justice Department never addressed the question of whether internet providers such as Comcast could give an advantage to its own content at the expense of competitors. The two firms are also vying for ownership of Sky in the UK.
According to the press release, the terms of the deal are similar to Disney's previous offer except that the new deal would allow 21st Century Fox shareholders to elect to receive cash or stock, subject to a 50/50 proration.
Fox said it will postpone its special shareholders meeting in order to provide stockholders with an opportunity to evaluate Disney's amended offer. The collar on the stock consideration will ensure that 21st Century Fox shareholders will receive a number of Disney shares equal to $38 in value if the average Disney stock price at closing is between $93.53 and $114.32.