British Government Gives Fox Clearance to Purchase Sky

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Us Americans don’t know what Sky is, but I’ve learned it’s a huge cable company in the United Kingdom. Comcast is really wanting to purchase Sky so that they have more of a global footprint. Meanwhile, Fox is trying to get the rest of Sky. Fox currently controls about 39% of the shares and is wanting the other 61%, but Comcast is proving to be a bit of a pain. Comcast has already received approval from the British government and they just outbid Fox. However, Fox has just recently gotten clearance from the British government as well which helps level the playing field. Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright had this to say about the deal:

Having taken over as the Secretary of State with responsibility for media public interest cases I have reviewed the process regarding the proposed merger between 21st Century Fox (21CF) and Sky Plc (Sky). I am content that DCMS and the relevant parties have ensured a scrupulously clear, fair and transparent process and I can now therefore inform the House of the final decisions made by my predecessor as Secretary of State. These decisions were made in a quasi-judicial capacity.

The publication of the undertakings marks the final stage of the public interest consideration of this case. It is right that Ofcom, the CMA and my Department have taken such care in ensuring the bid is properly and effectively scrutinized. It is now a matter for the Sky shareholders to decide whether to accept 21CF’s bid.

Wright’s predecessor, Matt Hancock, wanted some terms between Disney and 21st Century Fox to be improved before the deal went through and it looks like everything has been done to the government’s satisfaction. Sky has released the following statement:

Following a period of public consultation required under Schedule 10 of the Enterprise Act 2002, the Secretary of State has published final versions of the undertakings offered by 21CF and The Walt Disney Company, which have been accepted as addressing the concerns raised by the Competition and Markets Authority in respect of media plurality. Sky welcomes the Secretary of State’s comments that this now marks the final stage of the public interest consideration of this case. 21CF’s offer for Sky has now cleared its outstanding regulatory pre-conditions. This follows the satisfaction by Comcast on 15 June 2018 of its outstanding regulatory pre-conditions, meaning both offers for Sky are now capable of being put formally to Sky Shareholders.

Do you want Fox or Comcast to win this bidding war? If you are a Sky customer, what’s your take on this whole thing?

Source: Deadline