Comcast formally takes on Murdoch with £22bn Sky bid

Comcast formally takes on Murdoch with £22bn Sky bid

Britain's competition regulator is conducting an investigation into whether Fox's bid for Sky would give Murdoch and his family - who already own several other media titles in the United Kingdom - too much control over the country's news media.

"We are delighted to be formalizing our offer for Sky today", said Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts (pictured) in a statement.

The value of its bid put it ahead of the proposed deal Sky had with 21st Century Fox (21CF), which wants to clinch the 61% of Sky that it does not already own but is being held up by regulatory clearances.

Notes the Wall Street Journal this morning: "Separately, Comcast is weighing whether to play interloper on the pending Walt Disney Co. acquisition of 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets, people familiar with the situation say".

Comcast's potential disruption of Murdoch's plans comes almost seven years after the media mogul withdrew a previous bid for full control of Sky, an offer that was derailed by the phone-hacking scandal that resulted in the closure of his newspaper The News of the World.

It said Sky would "co-operate fully" with both parties but also welcomed Comcast's bid, saying it believed its voluntary commitments to the company under the offer "should comprehensively address any potential public interest concerns". Sky will be our platform for growth across Europe. Fox has also suggested making Sky News its own entity with its own board of directors, a move that would theoretically bolster the outlet's independence.

Fox responded to Comcast's bid by saying it was considering its options and a further announcement would be made in due course.

Comcast's bid for Sky is only the latest setback for the 87-year-old Murdoch, who has had his eye on a full takeover of the pay-TV provider for ages. He noted both companies' combined customer base of about 52 million would allow Comcast to invest more in original and licensed programming, as well as technology. In addition, Sky shareholders shall be entitled to receive any final dividend in respect of Sky's financial year ended June 30, 2018, up to an amount of 21.8 pence per Sky share, which is declared and paid prior to the effective date of transaction.

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