What happened 

Shares of media giant Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOXA) are up 38.7% in 2018, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, as the bidding war for the company heats up. 

So what 

Disney (NYSE:DIS) was the company that kicked off the bidding war for Fox, offering in late 2017 to pay $52.4 billion in stock for a treasure trove of assets, including film and TV studios, Fox's Hulu stake, and some cable networks. The idea was to consolidate more content under Disney's umbrella so its upcoming streaming services can compete with Netflix.

People eating popcorn and drinking in a movie theater.

Image source: Getty Images.

Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) upped the ante in June by bidding $65 billion in cash, or $35 per share, for the same assets. Disney responded by upping its bid to $71.3 billion in late June, a proposal Fox shareholders will vote on later in July.

Now what 

There's immense demand for Fox's assets right now given the fight to build the next streaming giant. Given the recent back and forth, I don't know if there's any more Fox can squeeze out of either company, so the sharp rise in shares may be over. But investors have had a great ride the last few months watching Fox become one of the hottest commodities for sale in the media business. 

Travis Hoium owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Netflix and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.