Comcast increases its offer for British broadcaster Sky

Comcast increases its offer for British broadcaster Sky

21st Century Fox is reportedly readying a new offer for Sky to fight off Comcast's rival $29 billion bid, which is all happening during Comcast's and Disney's fight over Fox.

The Associated Press reported that Fox, which already has a 39 percent stake in Sky, raised its offer to 14 pounds per share ($18.58), more than Comcast's latest offer but not equivalent to the value Sky was trading at on Wednesday.

Disney's bid to buy out the majority of Fox's entertainment assets was the talk of the town previous year, until the two companies hit a roadblock - an anti-competitive complaint by the Department of Justice.

21st Century Fox is the parent company of FOX News and FOX Business. The new offer also bests Comcast's bid of £12.50 per share.

A Fox shareholder has filed a lawsuit over Disney's pending acquisition of most of 21st Century Fox's assets, alleging that shareholders have been given misleading or incomplete information before their vote on July 27, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Investors expect Comcast to counter offer.

Fox said its ownership of Sky would position the satcaster "to compete within an environment that now includes some of the largest companies in the world, but none of [which] have demonstrated the same local depth of investment and commitment to the United Kingdom and to Europe".

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

Following the announcement, Sky's share price was down 1.3 per cent at 14.81, though above the improved offer. But Fox's move Wednesday shows its own determination to control all of Sky - a long-cherished goal of Rupert Murdoch's.

"American consumers have benefitted from head-to-head competition between Disney and Fox's cable sports programming that ultimately has prevented cable television subscription prices from rising even higher", said Makan Delrahim, assistant attorney general and head of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division.

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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