Comcast battle to buy Sky to be settled by auction in UK

Sky is at the centre of a bidding war between three global corporations all intent on snapping up the satellite broadcaster

21st Century Fox and Comcast hope to settle their struggle for Sky in an auction starting Friday after almost two years of competing for the London-based telecommunications company, but the situation may already be a win-win for Fox.

The Takeover Panel said the auction would start, assuming that a competitive situation continues to exist, at 1700 London time on Friday and end on the evening of Saturday, with a maximum of three rounds.

The Takeover Panel said the first round of the auction will take place on Saturday, with Fox firing the gun on proceedings, as it now has the lowest bid.

Comcast now has the upper hand in the bidding war after it made a 14.75 pound a share offer for Sky in July, which trumped an earlier 14 pound a share bid by Fox. Murdoch already has a 39% stake in the business. The battle is part of a larger contest between Disney and Comcast to take over many of Fox's media and entertainment assets.

Fox's sale of its film and TV assets to Disney will only include its stake in Sky in the event that its bid to assume full control of the British broadcaster is not accepted.

If the Fox offer tops Comcast's current high bid of $19.50, the cable operator, in a second round, will be able to submit an even higher price.

The news follows a report by Bloomberg that the takeover battle for Sky SKY-GB would likely be transferred to an auction.

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It marks a fitting end to a fascinating takeover, though, which has taken many twists and turns since Fox first made its original £11.7 billion bid in December 2016.

An auction for Sky, which broadcasts to 23 million households across Europe, would be the biggest ever deal in the United Kingdom to be decided by a panel-run auction.

The auction begins at 1600 GMT on Friday, Sept. 21. They would not be bidding blind and would know the outcome of the first round, a source with direct knowledge of the situation said.

The takeover of broadcaster Sky will be settled by an auction, the UK's Takeover Panel has announced.

In the second round only the other suitor, now Comcast, would be allowed to increase their offer.

Sky, Fox, Comcast, and Disney, now in discussions to purchase Fox's film and TV assets, have each agreed to the auction terms provided by TP's statement.

For Comcast, Sky offers a chance for growth - a company with proven quality in sports and entertainment together with the technology to deliver it.

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