Disney close to deal to buy Fox assets

Twenty-First Century Fox, the media company controlled by the Murdoch family, favors selling some assets to Walt Disney Co as it is a better strategic fit and presents fewer regulatory hurdles, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

"It would be wrong to comment on market speculation, on what's out there in the press", said Murdoch in remarks today UBS.

But he added that "the way we're running the business is about value, long-term value". The talks don't include Fox News, the Fox broadcast network or the Fox Sports 1 channel.

Earlier this month it was revealed that The Walt Disney Company had held talks with 21st Century Fox about acquiring a number of its assets, including its movie studio division 20th Century Fox, TV channels FX and National Geographic, Fox's TV production assets, and its stake in global broadcasters such as Sky and Star.

The Murdoch family, which controls Fox, prefers a deal with Disney because it would rather be paid in Disney than Comcast stock, and expects a potential deal with Disney to be cleared by USA antitrust regulators more easily, one of the sources said.

Deadline reported last week that talks were heating up between Disney and Fox after reaching an impasse over price. But Disney could acquire Fox's film and television studios, worldwide assets like Sky and Star, and Fox's cable networks including FX and National Geographic.

Fox shares rose 1.6 percent in midday trade, while Disney tumbled 3 percent.

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