In a battle among media giants for control of Twenty-First Century Fox's entertainment business, Comcast has blinked. The cable and media company is dropping its bid, instead focusing on its pursuit of the European pay-TV operator Sky. Comcast had been fiercely dueling with Disney for Twenty-First Century Fox, but on Thursday said it would not raise its $66 billion offer for the company. The withdrawal leaves the path open for the Walt Disney Co. to buy the Twenty-First Century Fox assets with its latest offer of $71 billion. The Department of Justice has approved Disney's bid as long as it sells 22 regional sports networks.
"This was the final chapter in this soap opera," said GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives, per the AP. "Now the laser focus for (Comcast CEO Brian) Roberts and Comcast is the battle royale for Sky assets to build a strong beachhead content strategy in Europe." Comcast and other media giants are trying to amass more programming as they compete for viewers with both traditional TV networks and technology companies such as Netflix and Amazon. Fox shareholders are set to vote on Disney's offer July 27.
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