Comcast Outbids Fox for Sky


Fox's offer represented £10.75 per Sky share. Including debt, the deal is worth $66.1 billion.

Sky's shares jumped over 18% at the open in London on Tuesday, putting them above Comcast's offer price and suggesting investors anticipate a bidding war. He added that he did not think a tie-up between Comcast and Sky would damage the two companies' relationships with key content providers such as Time Warner-owned HBO.

Comcast would become a player in the UK, Germany, and Italy, and could pull in a quarter of its revenue from overseas.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts takes a London taxi to a Sky store, and is impressed with the products and how people talk about Sky - cab driver included.

Do you think Murdoch gaining full control of Sky would be bad for competition in the UK? Comcast is the biggest USA cable-TV operator and also owns one of the largest film and television groups, NBCUniversal.

It has also pledged to ensure the future of Sky News, a flashpoint in Fox's £11.7bn takeover bid because of competition fears centring on Mr Murdoch's ownership of The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times newspapers.

Sky is known in Europe for its live football broadcasts as well as for premium content such as HBO's "Game of Thrones" and in-house productions such as "Fortitude" and "Britannia".

While Fox was dealing with the regulatory hurdles for the Sky deal, it agreed to sell a major chunk of its operations to Disney, including its current 39 percent stake in Sky.

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The Competition and Markets Authority is now investigating Fox's takeover bid after provisionally declaring that any move toward full ownership of Sky "would not be in the public interest". Bob Iger, Disney's chief executive, has described Sky as Fox's "crown jewel".

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch faces a multi-billion dollar battle in his quest to buy Sky television after America's largest cable company Comcast entered the bidding in a move likely to diffuse a potentially hazardous political decision being faced by the British government. Comcast was considering making another bid for Fox assets this month, according to a person familiar.

Fox now owns more than a third of Sky's shares, and British regulators have expressed concerns about giving the Murdoch family even more control over their media landscape.

"Significantly we don't see any material issues and expect to receive the necessary approvals approval in a timely manner", Roberts told analysts in an early-morning call.

There was a much lower regulatory risk to the Comcast proposal, analysts said.

Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) has a $52 billion deal in place to acquire a huge portion of 21st Century Fox's assets, but it's no longer looking like the slam dunk that most observers thought it would be. "Comcast recognizes that Sky News is an invaluable part of the United Kingdom news landscape and the Company intends to maintain Sky News' existing brand and culture, as well as its strong track record for high-quality impartial news and adherence to broadcasting standards".

Roberts added: "Comcast intends to use Sky as a platform for growth in Europe".