Now Sony Wants To Acquire 20th Century Fox

Now Sony Wants To Acquire 20th Century Fox

Verizon Communications (VZ) has also approached Fox about some assets, but talks do not seem as serious as those involving Disney or Comcast, say reports.

Comcast, the owner of TV networks such as NBC and the movie studio Universal Pictures, approached the Rupert Murdoch-controlled media group about the assets, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. Verizon has also expressed interest, according to the report. Those assets would include much of Fox's domestic broadcast operations, but would also include global assets such as its stake in European broadcaster Sky.

Comcast is looking to grow even bigger with a potential acquisition of Fox Studios and cable networks. The rise of online competitors like Netflix and YouTube has slowed the growth of pay-TV, and Comcast, the biggest US cable provider, has been adding film and TV assets to ensure it has a hand in both programming and distribution. As of right now, Fox owns a 39% stake in the company, however, it's previously announced its intention to buy the rest of Sky, with the hope that the deal would close by mid-2018.

Selling the entertainment business would be a good deal for Fox, said MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson.

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The company may have realized it has a "better edge" in sports and news, he said, and that the investment needed to build out a streaming service, like Disney is doing, may be too much for Fox.

Among other duties, the pair are working to expand partnerships with independent production companies, with Twentieth Century Fox recently announcing a partnership with Locksmith Animation in the United Kingdom. Comcast, the country's largest cable company, finished buying NBCUniversal's cable channels and movie studio in 2013 and added Dreamworks Animation in 2016.

Reports that the Murdoch family could sell parts of its empire came as a surprise last week.

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