Comcast won't pursue 21st Century Fox, clearing way for Disney tie-up

Comcast drops $65B bid for Fox assets

Comcast announced Thursday it will not continue to pursue a bid for 21st Century Fox, clearing the way for that company's tie-up with the Walt Disney Company (DIS). 

"Comcast does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of the 21st Century Fox assets and, instead, will focus on our recommended offer for Sky," Comcast Chairman & CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement, extending a congratulations to the winning bidder.

"I'd like to congratulate Bob Iger and the team at Disney and commend the Murdoch family and Fox for creating such a desirable and respected company," Roberts said.

Fox's assets had been the target of bidding skirmish between Comcast and Disney. Comcast offered nearly $66 billion for Fox's assets, which include the FX network and the studio that houses the X-Men franchise. Disney then raised its bid to more than $70 billion.

The deal won approval from the Department of Justice last month, under the condition that Disney sell its 22 regional sports networks. Fox shareholders are set to vote on Disney's offer July 27.

The battle for 21st Century Fox reflects a new imperative among entertainment and telecommunications companies, as seen by AT&T's recent takeover of Time Warner. Media giants are increasingly consolidating in a fast-changing industry that has both established and upstart news and entertainment brands amassing ever more programming to better compete with technology companies such as Amazon and Netflix for viewers' attentions -- and dollars.

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