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Comcast Ends Its Bidding War With Disney for 21st Century Fox

The bidding war between Comcast and Disney in pursuit of 21st Century Fox is now over.

On Thursday, the cable giant Comcast decided not to move forward with a counter-offer to Disney’s most recent $71.3 billion bid for Fox’s movie studio responsible for Avatar and X-Men, along with Fox’s regional sports networks and cable channels like FX and National Geographic.

Comcast shares shot up 2.1% premarket shortly after dropping from the race for 21st Century Fox.

“Comcast does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of the 21st Century Fox assets and, instead, will focus on our recommended offer for Sky,” the company said early on Thursday.

As the number one pay-TV operator in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, and Italy, Sky is reported to have approximately 23 million customers across the continent. Acquisition of the European pay-television group would grant its proprietor the opportunity to diversify outside of the U.S. and reach international consumers more directly.

Comcast currently has the higher offer on the table for Sky, in which Fox owns a 39% stake.