Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Money | By Bruce West

Murdoch's Fox cleared for Sky takeover bid

Murdoch's Fox cleared for Sky takeover bid

Comcast reportedly increased its bid for Sky to $34 billion Thursday, topping Fox's $32 billion offer.

Fox's bid to buy the 61% of Sky it does not already own had been held up by regulators amid concerns the U.S. company would have too much influence over the United Kingdom media landscape.

The move comes after Hancock last month urged Disney and 21st Century Fox to improve its terms, after the two companies offered a series of undertakings to protect the news broadcaster earlier this year.

Janedis laid out four possible scenarios: Comcast outbids Fox for Sky; Fox outbids Comcast and adheres to all conditions; Disney and Fox walk away and sell Comcast the remaining 40% stake in Sky; and Disney wins both Fox and Sky.

'It is now a matter for the Sky shareholders to decide whether to accept 21st Century Fox's bid'.

Neither Comcast nor Sky immediately responded to requests for comment.

The Department of Justice highlighted that Disney already owned a good chunk of the sports entertainment industry with ESPN, claiming that Fox's added assets would result in anti-competitive domination of the field.

Rupert Murdoch's Fox has been waiting for approval from United Kingdom regulators before putting the deal to shareholders. Sky's shares closed at £15.01 on Tuesday, suggesting shareholders think the battle is not over.

"It's too low", Odey, a former son-in-law of Murdoch whose eponymous hedge fund is a Sky shareholder, said of the sweetened Fox offer.

Fox's bid for Sky is the most recent episode in Murdoch's long-running effort to take full control of the company.

Fox said it had secured the agreement of the independent committee of Sky for the deal.

At the same time, U.K. Secretary of State Jeremy Wright gave Fox the OK on its Sky deal, provided the company divests Sky News to either Disney or another company.

Murdoch had previously tried to buy Sky in 2011 when a phone hacking scandal at his News of the World tabloid sparked a political backlash over his role in Britain.

"There are enough sub-plots in the race to acquire Sky to commission a primetime drama", Salmon said.

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