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Comcast drops pursuit for Fox assets, to focus on Sky offer

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Comcast drops pursuit for Fox assets, to focus on Sky offer

Comcast drops pursuit for Fox assets, to focus on Sky offer
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Lucy Nicholson(Reuters)
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(Reuters) - Comcast Corp <CMCSA.O> has dropped its pursuit of a group of media assets owned by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc <FOXA.O> on which it was bidding against Walt Disney <DIS.N>, and instead focus on its offer for European pay-TV group Sky Plc <SKYB.L>.

Shares of Comcast were up 2.2 percent in premarket trade, while Fox fell 1 percent. Shares of Walt Disney were up marginally.

"Comcast does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of the Twenty-First Century Fox assets and instead will focus on our recommended offer for Sky," the company said on Thursday.

Disney fended off Comcast's $66 billion (50.89 billion pounds) all-cash challenge to its deal for the Fox assets last month by sweetening its offer to $71 billion in cash-and-stock. Time had run out for Comcast to come back with a new offer, with Fox shareholders scheduled to vote on the Disney deal on July 27.

The cable operator will now focus on the $34 billion offer to acquire 61 percent of Sky. Fox, which owns 39 percent of Sky, has been also seeking to acquire the majority stake.

The fight for Sky is part of a bigger battle being waged in the entertainment industry as the world's media giants splash out tens of billions of dollars on deals to be able to compete with Netflix <NFLX.O> and Amazon.com <AMZN.O>.

(Reporting by Munsif Vengattil; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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