Comcast, the cable giant and content giant in the US, desperate for a fierce challenge to news conglomerate Murdoch.
Comcast announced that it acquired British Sky News Corp for 22 billion pounds ($ 31 billion) in cash, while Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is trying to buy 61% of Sky Inc.’s shares it does not already own. Not long ago, Disney bought just about all its entertainment assets owned by 21st Century Fox, including its 39% stake in Sky, making the two battle over Skycom more complicated and confusing.
Comcast, which owns US NBC Radio and Universal Pictures, plans to acquire more than 50% of Sky’s stake at £ 12.5 a share, a 16% premium over Fox’s £ 10.75 bid. The news came as Sky Co. shares soared 20% in early trading Tuesday.
Comcast chairman and chief executive, Brain Roberts, said in a conference call with investors Tuesday that he believes Comcast’s deal with Sky will be “a perfect fit” that will create a market for entertainment and technology Industry’s “unique leader.”
Roberts added that the UK will be a good place to start business and said Comcast plans to use Skycom as a platform for its development in Europe.
Sky covers 23 million European homes and is famous for its technological innovation. Murdoch has always wanted to get 100% of the company’s control, but blocked by British regulators, mainly due to scruples a few years ago broke the Murdoch’s British media, “News of the World” (now discontinued) telephone tapping Scandal and Murdoch in the British media has had influence.
According to Reuters, Murdoch already owns several of the most widely circulated publications in the UK, as well as a 39% stake in Sky. British regulators fear that if Fox holds the entire sky company, the Murdoch family’s influence in the British media will be too great. The Murdoch family currently controls Fox News, the British newspaper The Sun and The Times.
Comcast has also considered bidding 21st-century Fox entertainment assets, including Sky and 20th Century Fox Films. Such bids could undermine the $ 66 billion deal that Fox and Disney have already reached. Currently, Disney declined to comment on the matter.
Analysts believe Murdoch will not give up the sky, the “fat” to the mouth, will be anti-bidding, put out higher than the purchase price of 12.5 pounds per share.