Comcast launches rival £22 billion bid for Sky

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"Comcast is gaming out the possibility of making a public case to the company's shareholders that they should reject the Disney deal, which is expected to come to a vote this summer, and opt for a Comcast tie-up instead, people familiar with the situation say".

United States cable company Comcast submitted a £22 billion offer for pay-TV group Sky today, challenging an already agreed but lower takeover bid from Rupert Murdoch's Fox.

The story adds: "Comcast's all-cash offer of 12.50 pounds a share [formalized] its proposal on February 27th at the same price, 16 percent above Fox's 10.75 pound-per-share bid for Sky".

"As a result of the announcement of this higher cash offer, the Independent Committee is withdrawing its recommendation of the offer announced by 21CF on 15 December 2016 and is now terminating the co-operation agreement entered into with 21CF on the same date", Sky said in a statement.

Morningstar analyst Allan Nichols said Comcast's offer fully valued Sky, and any increase would be negative for Comcast, Disney or Fox shareholders.

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. And Fox has been attempting to get all of Sky which in turn would flip it to Disney.

The bid is yet to be given the backing of the Sky board, which is being advised by PJT Partners, Morgan Stanley and Barclays, but Comcast said it was in talks with the Sky Independent Committee "with a view to obtaining a future recommendation of the acquisition".

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She continued: "There has actually been a various requirement for me than there have actually been for other individuals. She added that CNN posed questions about her husband to try to "harass and embarrass" her.

"We are delighted to be formalizing our offer for Sky today". Regulators also cited Fox News' circulation of conspiracy theories on such subjects as Benghazi and the death of Seth Rich. 21st Century Fox pulled Fox News from the air previous year in the United Kingdom, a blow to prestige if not profits, as the channel had very small audiences there.

Sky is a leading consumer entertainment company in Europe, providing entertainment and communications services primarily in the UK, Germany and Italy.

Comcast also promised not to buy a majority interest in any United Kingdom newspapers for five years and committed to maintaining Sky's headquarters at its current site in Osterley, west London, for five years. In addition, British government officials demanded protections for Sky News, a broadly admired outlet, saying Rupert Murdoch might influence too much of the news media in the United Kingdom if he had full control of Sky.

"The important thing about the Comcast bid is that they appear to match the remedy that has been offered by Fox", Enders said.

Comcast, which owns cable channels MSNBC and CNBC, has already said it believes its approach would escape concerns over media plurality because of its "minimal presence" in United Kingdom media.

This newer bid has tripped over the Murdochs handling of the sexual harassment crises at Fox News. Fox can only sell its stake with the approval of Disney, which may help Fox back a new, higher bid for Sky.