Comcast Drops Its $65 Billion Bid for Fox to Focus on Buying Sky

The telecomm giant’s decision to back down finally puts an end to its bidding war with Walt Disney.

Comcast Corporation chairman & CEO Brian Roberts speaks at a Comcast presentation at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

As expected, Comcast announced its decision to give up on its pursuit of the assets that 21st Century Fox has agreed to sell to the Walt Disney Company. Comcast has officially withdrawn its $65 billion bid, which stood up against Disney’s raised $71.3 billion offer.

In a statement released Thursday morning, Comcast said it “does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of the Twenty-First Century Fox assets and, instead, will focus on our recommended offer for Sky.”

Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts congratulated Disney on its victory:

“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.”

Comcast was expected to back down in the bidding war with Disney after the company boosted its offer for the European broadcaster Sky to $34 billion last week.

Comcast’s latest move means only part of the overall bidding war between itself, Fox and Disney will be put to rest. 21st Century Fox has a bid of $32.5 billion on the table for Sky and already owns a 39 percent stake of the British pay-TV company.

Control of Sky would fatten Comcast’s international holdings and give it greater leverage in the cord cutting movement that’s growing with platforms like Netflix.

Comcast has already received the necessary regulatory approvals to acquire Sky and said it is confident it’ll complete the deal before the end of October 2018.