The Walt Disney Company is in advanced discussions to buy significant parts of 21st Century Fox, the media company run by the Murdoch family, people briefed on the matter said on Tuesday.
And a deal between the two companies could end up splitting up the Murdochs as an operating team, with James Murdoch potentially leaving his father and brother to work at Disney.
Fox is also in negotiations with Comcast, but the talks with Disney are moving faster, these people said. An agreement with Disney could be announced as soon as next week, these people added, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the discussions are confidential.
If a deal is reached, it would be the latest instance of upheaval in the media industry, as giants like Disney and Comcast seek to get even bigger to compete against newer players like Netflix. And medium-size companies like Fox are under pressure to also gain scale through acquisitions or to shrink and focus on specific businesses.
Under the terms of the talks, Disney would buy big parts of Fox’s empire in an all-stock transaction, including its movie and television studios, international assets like the Star cable and media company in India and a stake in the British broadcaster Sky, and a stake in the Hulu streaming service, these people said.