May 21, 2018

UK likely to clear way for Comcast to bid for Sky

The UK government has indicated it will not refer Comcast's £22bn offer for Sky to the country's media regulator, removing a hurdle in the US cable group's race to acquire the pan-European media group. Comcast is hoping to trump a rival bid for Sky from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox with a £12.50 a share offer. He is to decide by June 13 whether to clear or block Fox's bid for Sky. In a letter to Brian Roberts, Comcast's chief executive, the UK department of culture, media and sport said a Comcast-Sky combination would not have "a significantly larger presence in the UK news market" than that of Sky and Sky News and would have "No greater ability to influence the news agenda". The Fox offer for Sky has raised regulatory concerns about Mr Murdoch's influence in the UK media market.

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