FOX held talks to sell most of company to Disney: CNBC

Nov 6 (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch-controlled Twenty-First Century Fox has held talks to sell most of the company to Walt Disney Co, CNBC reported on Monday, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

Fox's shares rose 5.8 percent to $26.40 in afternoon trading in response. Disney's shares were up 1.2 pct at $99.86.

The CNBC report said the two sides were not talking currently, but had held talks in the last few weeks, reflecting a view among Fox managers that the firm could not gain the size needed to compete with Amazon, Netflix and other major media players.

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HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 10: The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger attends the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' at the Pantages Theatre on December 10, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1980: Bob Iger; 4th Annual Friends Finding A Cure Gala Benefiting Project ALS; Walt Disney Studios, CA; 04/29/2004 (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 12: Bob Iger and Willow Bay attending Key To Life Gala at Pierre Hotel. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Bob Iger during 4th Annual Friends Finding A Cure Gala Benefiting Project ALS at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 8: Disney's Bob Iger and writer/producer Mark Zakarin pose at the afterparty for the premiere of Miramax's 'Keeping up with the Steins' at the Pacific Design Center on May 8, 2006 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Bob Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Cie attends the ceremony to honor movie mogul Michael D. Eisner by a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California, April 25, 2008. AFP PHOTO GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Disney's Bob Iger arrives at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's 34th Annual Dinner of Champions held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on September 25, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Robert 'Bob' Iger, president and chief executive officer of Walt Disney Co., leaves the morning session at Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Wednesday, July 6, 2011. Media executives gather at Allen & Co.'s Sun Valley conference this week looking to shed assets such as the Hulu LLC video website and G4 game channel amid a declining global stock market and slowing economic growth. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of Walt Disney Co. attends Unveiling Moment At Barneys New York & Disney Electric Holiday Spectacular With Sarah Jessica Parker, Bob Iger, and Mark Lee on November 14, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Barneys New York)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - APRIL 04: Chairman and CEO of Conservation International Peter Seligmann and Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company Bob Iger attend Conservation International's 17th Annual Los Angeles Dinner at Montage Beverly Hills on April 4, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage)
Robert 'Bob' Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of Walt Disney Co., arrives at the Sun Valley Lodge ahead of the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Billionaires, chief executive officers, and leaders from the technology, media, and finance industries will gather this week at the Idaho mountain resort conference hosted by investment banking firm Allen & Co. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 12: Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company attends the dedication ceremony as ABC News headquarters in New York is proclaimed 'The Barbara Walters Building' ABC News Headquarters Dedication Ceremony on May 12, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
Robert 'Bob' Iger, chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Co., arrives for a morning session during the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Friday, July 10, 2015. Billionaires, chief executive officers, and leaders from the technology, media, and finance industries gather this week at the Idaho mountain resort conference hosted by investment banking firm Allen & Co. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Walt Disney Company chairman and CEO Bob Iger speaks in front of a model of the new Shanghai Disney Resort during a press event in Shanghai on July 15, 2015. US entertainment giant Disney gave the first detailed preview to the media for its planned theme park in Shanghai, promising Chinese features and new attractions unlike its five other resorts, executives said. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
BOULDER, CO - SEPT 1: THESE PHOTOS ARE EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:01 A.M. FRIDAY, SEPT. 4, 2015. DO NOT PUBLISH UNTIL THEN. Sphero CEO Paul Barbarian show's off his company's new robotic toy based on the droid BB8 from the upcoming new movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Disney president Bob Iger asked the Boulder company to make the toy based on the character from the movie which opens in theaters on Dec. 18, 2015. (Photo by Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Chairman and CEO of Walt Disney Bob Iger holds a press conference at Shanghai Disney Resort in Shanghai on June 15, 2016. The Magic Kingdom comes to the Middle Kingdom this week when Disney opens its first theme park in mainland China, betting the growing middle class will spend big on leisure despite a slowing economy. / AFP / JOHANNES EISELE (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
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A Disney spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment while Fox was not immediately available for comment.

Disney, which under U.S. rules could not own two broadcast networks, would not purchase all of Fox, CNBC reported, citing the same sources.

Disney would not seek to buy Fox's sports programming assets for fear of running foul of antitrust laws with its own ESPN network, and would also not buy Fox News or Fox's local broadcasting affiliates, the report said.

In addition to the movie studio, TV production and international assets such as Star and B Sky B, Disney would take entertainment network FX and National Geographic, the report added.

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Rupert Murdoch arrives to the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on February 22, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. AFP PHOTO/ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ (Photo credit should read ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 17: Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman News Corporation looks on during a panel discussion at the B20 meeting of company CEO's on July 17, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. Over 350 business leaders have gathered in Sydney for the 2014 B20 Summit to discuss and determine policy recommendations ahead of the G20 Leaders Meeting in Brisbane later this year. (Photo by Jason Reed - Pool/Getty Images)
Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch is driven away from his home in central London, on June 26, 2014. News Corporation executive chairman Rupert Murdoch was in London, amid reports that police want to question him in the wake of the phone-hacking trial. The 83-year-old US-based media mogul flew into London, after the high-profile trial concluded with the conviction of Andy Coulson, one of his former British newspaper editors. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19: Rupert Murdoch listens to U.S. President Barack Obama make remarks at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council annual meeting, at the Four Seasons Hotel, on November 19, 2013, in Washington, DC. Obama discussed immigration reform and the health care rollout, among other topics. (Photo by Drew Angerer-Pool/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 31: News Corp executive chairman, Rupert Murdoch talks on October 31, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. Murdoch delivered the 10th annual lecture at the Lowy Institute's annual black tie event in Sydney. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 31: News Corp executive chairman, Rupert Murdoch talks on October 31, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. Murdoch delivered the 10th annual lecture at the Lowy Institute's annual black tie event in Sydney. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Australian press baron Rupert Murdoch gives a press conference at the Great Eastern Hotel in Liverpool Street, London, to report on his proposed take-over of the News of the World, the paper with the world's largest circulation, 24th October 1968. (Photo by Jim Gray/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Australian Businessman and media tycoon Rupert Murdoch (right) with U.S. President John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963) at the White House, 1962. On the left is editor of the Sydney Daily Mirror, Zell Rabin (1932 - 1966). (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
1986: Australian publisher and newspaper magnate, Rupert Murdoch. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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(Reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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