Britain clears Rupert Murdoch's Fox to bid for Sky

Disney Fox Deal Faces Lawsuit From Fox Shareholder

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox has kicked off a potential bidding war with U.S. entertainment giant Comcast after making a new offer for the 59pc of Sky it does not already own that values the UK-based broadcaster at £24.5bn.

Earlier on Wednesday, Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox bid £14 a share for Sky.

Sky's shares have risen 95 percent since Fox made its first bid in 2016, and have risen 55 percent in the previous year.

After a bidding war with Comcast, Disney seemed to cement it win when the company raised its offer to a whopping $71.3 billion.

Comcast said its cash offer has been recommended by Sky's independent committee of directors. Britain's former Culture Secretary Matt Hancock, who was replaced on Monday night with Jeremy Wright in a cabinet shakeup, had said he was willing to let the takeover go ahead, provided Fox sold Sky's 24-hour news channel to Disney.

The effort to buy Sky comes as Fox itself is the object of a takeover battle by Comcast and Disney. Comcast offered $65 billion and is getting ready for yet another bid for Fox.

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A successful acquisition of Sky would extend Comcast's reach Europe. Sky is a pawn in a wider contest between Comcast and Walt Disney Co. for the bulk of Murdoch's media empire, as the United States media giants try to take on powerful digital rivals like Netflix Inc.

Another wrench has been thrown in the ongoing saga of the Disney Fox deal.

"This transformative transaction will position Sky so that it can continue to compete within an environment that now includes some of the largest companies in the world", Fox said.

The Government has already separately cleared Comcast's bid for Sky.

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.

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

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