Comcast Corp. is dropping its bid for 21st Century Fox business, according to the company.
This will leave Walt Disney Company alone in seeking Fox's assets -- which include its movie studio, FX Networks, its 30% interest in Hulu, Fox’ 39% interest in Sky and equity in other international services.
Disney won the Justice Department's approval for its $71.3 billion Fox deal in June. But that is contingent on selling off Fox's 22 regional sports networks.
Disney increased its its original $52.4 billion offer for Fox, announced in December, after Comcast made a counterbid of $65 billion in June.
For its part, Comcast says it will continue to seek a deal for European-based TV service Sky. Fox will seek the remaining piece of Sky it doesn’t own, and sustain its bidding war with Comcast.
Brian L. Roberts, chairman-CEO,Comcast Corp, stated he congratulated Disney, the Murdochs and Fox for “creating such a desirable and respected company."
Mid-day Thursday trading of Comcast stock was up 2.9% to 35.03; Disney rose 2.4% to $113.25; and Fox dipped 1.7% lower. Since the beginning of the year -- just after the Disney’s original offer -- Fox’s stock has climbed 34%.