Comcast is reportedly considering another run at a raft of 21st Century Fox assets, setting up a bidding war with rival Disney, which agreed to buy the assets in December for $52.4 billion, or $66.1 billion including debt. Fox reportedly spurned a previous overture from Comcast last fall worth more than $60 billion.
Instead of pursuing the full Fox portfolio, Comcast could pivot toward a smaller chunk of Rupert Murdoch's empire, such as British broadcaster Sky, according to The Wall Street Journal. Murdoch and Fox, who are currently trying to acquire the rest of Sky that they don't already own, publicly pledged on Monday to keep the Sky News subsidiary independent if a deal is approved.
Antitrust implications will be a sticking point for both Disney and Comcast in their acquisition attempts. Disney already owns major American broadcaster ABC, while Comcast controls NBCUniversal. Disney's deal with Fox carries a $2.5 billion breakup fee if it's blocked by regulators. Shares of Fox (NASDAQ: FOXA) have gained more than 11% since December 13, the day before the Disney deal was announced. The company has a market cap of $67 billion.