June 21, 2018 / 10:13 PM / a month ago

Disney willing to divest more Fox assets for deal clearance

(Reuters) - Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) said on Thursday it was willing to divest Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O) assets that generated up to $1 billion in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to get a regulatory nod for the deal.

FILE PHOTO: The 21st Century Fox logo is displayed outside the News Corporation building in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., June 15, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

Disney in a regulatory filing said it was willing to divest the assets, potentially including regional sports networks. The media conglomerate had previously planned to divest Fox assets that generated $500 million in EBITDA.

Fox has been in the middle of a bidding war between Disney and Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O), with Disney on Wednesday raising its bid for the bulk of Fox’s film and television assets to $71.3 billion. Comcast is likely to further raise its offer.

Disney and Comcast want to add to their own entertainment businesses with Fox’s well-known TV shows and movie franchises, like the “X-Men” superheroes and “The Simpsons,” to better compete with fast-growing digital rivals Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O).

Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger, who has been working with regulators around the world for the past six months, has downplayed antitrust concerns related to the deal.

Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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