21st Century Fox nears sale of assets to Disney

Media & AdvertisingFOXBusiness

A deal between 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) and Disney (NYSE:DIS) is imminent, FOX Business has confirmed and may come as early as next week.

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After weeks of speculation, Disney has emerged as the lead media company to purchase select 21st Century Fox assets, including the film and television studio and the company’s stake in U.K. pay-tv provider Sky Plc. The company also held talks in recent weeks with Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ), as reported by FOX Business.

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Shares of the company controlled by Rupert Murdoch rose during mid-morning trading on Tuesday, while shares of Disney declined.

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The deal comes amid broad consolidation in the media industry. AT&T (NYSE:T) is battling the Department of Justice (DOJ) to seal its $85 billion purchase of Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), parent company of CNN, which the DOJ has deemed anti-competitive. While the DOJ may be opposed to this tie-up, it has indicated it is not opposed to a potential deal for assets between 21st Century Fox and Disney, as reported by FOX Business, which also noted  that tech giants including Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) are watching the deal making in the media industry closely.

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Fox News, FOX Business, the Fox broadcast network and the Fox Sports 1 channel are not part of the sale. 21st Century Fox is the parent company of FOX Business and Fox News.

Calls by FOX Business to 21st Century Fox and Disney were not returned at the time of publication.

Talks of 21st Century Fox asset sales were first reported by CNBC.

Charlie Gasparino and Brian Schwartz contributed  to this report.