Disney in the picture to win battle for Fox empire

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Murdoch-owned media giant prefers deal with Disney over rival suitor Comcast

Fox shares rose 1.6 per cent in midday trade on Tuesday, while Disney tumbled 3 per cent. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters Fox shares rose 1.6 per cent in midday trade on Tuesday, while Disney tumbled 3 per cent. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

 
 

 

 

Walt Disney is in the lead to acquire much of 21st Century Fox’s media empire, though rival suitor Comcast remains in contention, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The Murdoch family, which controls Fox, prefers a deal with Disney because it would rather be paid in Disney than Comcast stock, and expects a potential deal with Disney to be cleared by US antitrust regulators more easily, one of the sources said.

However, no deal is imminent and several issues have yet to be fully negotiated, the sources said.

CNBC had reported earlier on Tuesday that a deal for Disney to buy Fox’s movie studio and television production assets for more than $60 billion could come as early as next week.

Fox shares rose 1.6 per cent in midday trade, while Disney tumbled 3 per cent. Comcast shares were down 0.9 per cent. – Reuters