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Disney Outbids Comcast for Fox's Assets With $71.3 Billion Cash and Stock Deal

21st Century Fox and the Walt Disney Company today announced a new deal that increases the value of Disney's original December 2017 offer from $28 a share at $52.4 billion to $38 a share at $71.3 billion, with a new cash component. This agreement "is superior to the proposal" from Comcast made earlier this month, according to an unnamed representative speaking for Fox (via The Wall Street Journal). Additionally, the new Fox-Disney deal states that Fox shareholders will be able to receive their consideration "in the form of cash or stock," subject to 50/50 proration. The updated deal comes six months after Disney first announced its intent to acquire certain parts of 21st Century Fox, including Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television Studios, Fox-related cable and international TV businesses, and Fox's 30 percent stake in Hulu, among other assets. Comcast entered as a competitor earlier in June at $35 per share for a total of $65 billion -- an offer that Disney has now beat. Fox has mentioned in the past that talks with Disney were more advanced than any other potential buyer, and it appears that the two companies are trying to work out a deal that values Fox's assets in the wake of Comcast's increased bid. Nothing is finalized yet, however, and if shareholders are thought to be favoring a cash-heavy deal, people familiar with the matter told WSJ that Disney is "in position to inject cash into its offer." Some Fox shareholders might prefer a premium cash offer like the one Comcast is offering, even though the capital gains would be taxable. Other

Comcast Outbids Disney for Fox's Assets With $65 Billion All-Cash Offer

Just a day after a U.S. District Judge approved the upcoming merger between AT&T and Time Warner, Comcast has submitted a bid for 21st Century Fox's TV and film assets, reports CNBC. Comcast has presented Fox with an all-cash offer at $35 per share for a total of $65 billion, which beats out Disney's stock-based $52.4 billion deal. 21st Century Fox has already moved forward on a deal with Disney, but Comcast is aiming to change the minds of Fox's board members. From the letter sent to Fox's board by Brian Roberts, Comcast CEO. So, we were disappointed when 21CF decided to enter into a transaction with The Walt Disney Company, even though we had offered a meaningfully higher price. We have reviewed the publicly available terms of the proposed Disney transaction, as well as the joint proxy statement/prospectus filed with the SEC describing the reasons for the 21CF Board of Directors' decision. In light of yesterday's decision in the AT&T/Time Warner case, the limited time prior to your shareholders' meeting, and our strong continued interest, we are pleased to present a new, all-cash proposal that fully addresses the Board's stated concerns with our prior proposal. Our new proposal offers 21CF shareholders $35.00 per share in cash and 100% of the shares of New Fox after giving effect to its proposed spinoff, providing superior and more certain value as compared to Disney's all-stock offer.Comcast first announced its plans to make a bid on 20th Century Fox, 20th Century Fox Television, several Fox-owned cable channels, and a stake in Hulu back in May, but the

Comcast Confirms Plans to Outbid Disney for Fox's Assets With 'Superior' All-Cash Offer

Last December, The Walt Disney Company outlined plans to acquire 21st Century Fox and a collection of its subsidiaries for $52.4 billion in stock. Those plans have been under regulatory scrutiny for months and have yet to be finalized, and now Comcast has confirmed it is in "advanced stages" of sending Fox a "superior" all-cash offer in hopes of besting Disney's all-share offer (via Bloomberg). Previous reports about Comcast's potential bid also referenced an all-cash deal, and put an estimate above Disney's to as much as $60 billion in cash from Comcast for the designated Fox assets. Comcast's press release today does not disclose an offer amount, but the company says the structure and terms of any offer would be "at least as favorable to Fox shareholders as the Disney offer." Comcast says that its work to finance the offer for some of Fox's assets is "well advanced," and the company has already prepared to file key regulatory statements. Of course, no final decision has yet been made, but analyst Daniel Ives notes that, "If Comcast won these assets from the arms of Disney, it would be a devastating blow to [Disney CEO] Bob Iger." In view of the recent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission by The Walt Disney Company (“Disney”) and Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (“Fox”) in preparation for their upcoming shareholder meetings to consider the acquisition of Fox by Disney, Comcast Corporation (“Comcast”) confirms that it is considering, and is in advanced stages of preparing, an offer for the businesses that Fox has agreed to sell to

Comcast's 'Xfinity Home' Security System Gains Philips Hue Integration

Comcast and Philips Lighting today announced a partnership that will introduce integration of Philips Hue directly into Comcast's home security system, Xfinity Home. With the update, Xfinity Home users will be able to control Hue bulbs directly within Comcast's Xfinity Home app [Direct Link], as well as create "rules" that synchronize Hue bulbs with the security system. For example, users will be able to set Hue to turn off when they activate the security system and leave the house, or turn on when the alarm is deactivated. Additionally, subscribers to Xfinity's X1 TV service who use Xfinity Home will soon be able to use the voice control-enabled remote to interact with their Philips Hue lights. “Our partnership with Philips Lighting advances our commitment to bring our customers best-in-class devices they can trust and easily manage on one, integrated platform – the Xfinity Home platform,” said Daniel Herscovici, senior vice president and general manager of Xfinity Home. “With the Philips Hue family of products, our customers can customize their lighting according to their own needs and daily routines. They can also set up simple automated commands, such as turning on the hallway lights when they enter the home and disarm the system.” The Xfinity Home Security package comes with three door/window sensors, one motion sensor, one touchscreen controller, and one wireless keypad. Users can add on indoor and outdoor cameras, thermostats, outlet controllers, smoke detectors, and more, at additional costs. Plans and pricing for Xfinity Home vary due to local

Free Data Programs From T-Mobile, AT&T and Comcast Scrutinized by FCC

The United States Federal Communications Commission yesterday sent letters to T-Mobile, AT&T, and Comcast questioning the companies about mobile services that allow customers to access certain content without paying for the data usage, reports Bloomberg. While the FCC has been careful to note the inquiry is "not an investigation" and designed to help the FCC "stay informed as to what the practices are," there have been some questions about whether such services violate net neutrality rules. Under scrutiny is T-Mobile's Binge On program, which allows customers to stream 480p video that doesn't count against a data cap, AT&T's Sponsored Data program that lets AT&T customers view sponsored content for free, and Comcast's Stream TV, a video service that does not count against data caps in areas where data caps are imposed. Ars Technica has uploaded a copy of the letters that were sent to the three companies. Back in February, the FCC voted in favor of new net neutrality rules preventing Internet providers from blocking or throttling web traffic or offering prioritized service for payment, but it has not specifically addressed these "zero-rating" data exemption programs. Last month, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said the organization would keep an eye on T-Mobile's Binge On service, but praised it as being both "highly innovative and highly competitive." In a statement, a T-Mobile spokesperson said the company is "looking forward" to talking with the FCC, and believes Binge On is "absolutely in line with net-neutrality rules." Comcast expressed a similar sentiment,

Apple Hasn't Approached NBC Over Content Deal for Upcoming Streaming TV Service

Over the past couple of weeks, rumors have leaked pointing towards an Apple-branded streaming television service that could include 25 channels for $30 to $40 per month with partners like CBS, ABC, and Fox. NBC and parent company Comcast are not part of the negotiations, and according to a new report from Re/code, that's because Apple has not approached Comcast about a partnership. Earlier rumors about the streaming television service suggested NBC's absence from the upcoming package was due to a falling out between Apple and Comcast, but on Thursday, Comcast said that wasn't true in a letter that it sent to the Federal Communications Commission. Comcast's letter was a response to a filing from Stop Mega Comcast, a group that's opposed to a Comcast-Time Warner merging, and in it, Comcast said Apple had not even approached NBC for a content deal. Stop Mega Comcast's note, filed on Wednesday, said, "Comcast may be withholding affiliated NBCUniversal ("NBCU") content in an effort to thwart the entry of potential new video competitors." The note cited a recent Wall Street Journal report that said Apple wasn't talking to NBCUniversal because of a "falling-out between Apple and NBCUniversal parent company Comcast." That's a bit right but mostly wrong, Comcast attorney Francis Buono wrote to the FCC: "Not only has NBCUniversal not 'withheld' programming from Apple's new venture, Apple has not even approached NBCUniversal with such a request." I've asked Apple for comment.It is not clear why Apple has not approached NBC about a possible content deal for its most recent

Comcast Begins Rolling Out 'AnyPlay' Live TV Streaming for iPad

Back in September, we reported on a leaked document from cable and Internet provider Comcast revealing details on the company's forthcoming "AnyPlay" live television streaming service. While Comcast is not the first cable provider to bring such a product to market, it is the largest cable and Internet provider in the United States. Comcast today announced that it has begun rolling the AnyPlay service out to its customers, beginning with Xfinity HD Triple Play customers in Denver and Nashville. More markets will be added in the coming months, with the service initially launching for the iPad only but joined in the future by the Motorola Xoom.Here's how it works...the AnyPlay device works the same as any other set top box in the home, but instead of delivering the incoming channel lineup to a television, AnyPlay delivers the lineup to the Wi-Fi router on the home network. The router then distributes the secure video signal to the iPad or Xoom over your home's wireless network. So as long as your tablet is within range of the home wireless router, you can turn it into another television screen.The AnyPlay service is accessed via the company's existing Xfinity TV app for the iPad, which also offers thousands of hours of on demand movies and TV shows available for viewing both inside and outside of the