Comcast increases its offer for British broadcaster Sky

Comcast crashes Murdoch's Sky bid

Comcast crashes Murdoch's Sky bid

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox increased Wednesday its bid to take full control of lucrative European pay TV service Sky in a prolonged battle with US rival Comcast.

Fox is seeking to acquire the remaining 61 percent of Sky, valuing the company at $32.5 billion, and handing it over to Disney.

Sky's independent committee said Wednesday Fox's new bid "represents a substantial increase in value relative to the Comcast offer", and it will "unanimously recommend" the offer to Sky shareholders, according to the Financial Times.

What's Next For the Disney-Fox Deal? It's also thought that, despite welcoming a new counteroffer from Comcast, Rupert Murdoch is in favor of Disney over Comcast due to antitrust concerns, even after the successful AT&T and Time Warner merger.

A vote to approve Disney's bid is scheduled for July 27, but Comcast is expected to come forward with a counterbid before then. "We strongly believe that a combined 21CF and Sky will be a powerful driver for the continued growth and vibrancy of the United Kingdom and broader global creative industries".

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Sky has become a pawn in a much larger struggle between Comcast and Disney (DIS), which are locked in a bidding war for most of Fox, including its existing stake in Sky.

The world's biggest entertainment company and owner of NBC and Universal Pictures gate-crashed Murdoch's bid for Sky in February.

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

Sky operates in Austria, Germany, Ireland and Italy as well as the U.K. It has 22.5 million customers, attracted by offerings such as English Premier League soccer and "Game of Thrones".

Disney secured conditional US approval to buy the assets last month, giving it an edge over Comcast's bid. Those assets include the Fox's Hollywood studios, content library, cable channels, worldwide networks, and a 39-percent stake in Sky.

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