Rupert Murdoch’s plans to fully takeover Sky Television have hit a massive obstacle.
The long-gestating bid for Sky has been held-up in the UK due to competition concerns for some time now – with Murdoch said to have made a series of concessions to get the deal through – but it now looks like he’s simply been outbid
Comcast, who had tried to buy 21st Century Fox assets before a deal was struck with Disney, has thrown a massive spanner in the works, thanks to a newly-announced bid for the satellite service.
21st Century Fox was set to pay £18.5bn to acquire the 61% of Sky Television it doesn’t currently own. But Comcast now argues that it’s upped that bid by 16%. Given that Comcast is likely to face fewer regulatory hurdles, it may prove to be a smoother and more lucrative option.
The knock-on, if successful, would be interesting too. Disney has made no secret of the fact that Sky was one of the main reasons it wanted to acquire Fox. If Comcast takes that part of the deal away, then will Disney still want the rest? It’ll certainly lessen the size of the deal.
Comcast, for its part, has said that it’d happy to co-own Sky with Fox or Disney, but that it’s looking for over 50% of Sky shares.
This one’s about to get interesting…