Bob Iger: Disney Has ‘Much Better’ Chance of Closing Fox Deal Than Comcast

Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger didn’t mince words Wednesday morning as he sized up his company’s chances of securing regulatory approval for the acquisition of major 21st Century Fox assets compared to rival bidder Comcast.

Iger cited Comcast’s sizable footprint as a broadband provider as a red flag for regulators during a half-hour conference call with Wall Street analysts held after Disney unveiled its sweetened offer for Fox. Disney’s bid for the 20th Century Fox studio, FX Networks, National Geographic Partners and other assets has ballooned, under pressure from Comcast’s aggressive bid, from $52.4 billion, as set in December, to $71.3 billion.

Iger questioned Comcast’s reasoning in citing AT&T’s victory in the anti-trust trial over its acquisition of Time Warner as clearing a regulatory path for the cable giant to buy the Fox assets. He said the AT&T case didn’t deal with the broadband component that tends to be more heavily regulated than film and TV content and distribution assets.

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