Comcast Makes Formal Sky Offer

John Phillips  Getty Images

John Phillips Getty Images

Fox made that bid in 2016, but it has been having trouble securing regulatory approval as British regulators fear conflicts with Murdoch-owned media outlets like the newspapers The Sun and the Times of London.

He added: "We also understand the role that Sky plays in United Kingdom society and in its customers' lives and we are determined to be responsible and trusted owners of Sky".

In the continuing saga of U.S. media conglomerates battling over Sky of the United Kingdom, Comcast has fired the latest salvo in its hopes of gaining control of the company.

"We are delighted to be formalizing our offer for Sky today", Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement. Murdoch's 21st Century Fox already owns 39 percent of Sky - a company he founded more than a generation ago - and in late 2016, Fox had struck a deal to acquire the rest.

Comcast, which owns cable channels MSNBC and CNBC as well as telecoms services, has already said it believes its approach would escape concerns over media plurality because of its "minimal presence" in United Kingdom media. Nevertheless, investors who pushed Sky shares up 4 percent to 13.57 pounds on Wednesday are wagering on Disney and Fox disregarding financial sense. The offer also establishes Comcast's intent to maintain Sky's United Kingdom headquarters at its Osterly campus.

"With its 23 million retail customers, leading positions in the U.K., Italy, and Germany, and its history of strong financial performance, we see significant opportunities for growth by combining our businesses".

Comcast pledged to keep several of Sky's assets like Sky News and maintain its corporate headquarters in the UK.

Not acquire any majority interest in United Kingdom newspapers for five years.

The NBC and Comcast logo are displayed on top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, formerly known as the GE building, in New York, New York, U.S. on July 1, 2015. Sky also has the rights to broadcast major professional sports events including games in the English Premier League.

The Philadelphia-based owner of NBCUniversal, says the addition of Sky's customer base will enable it to invest in more original and acquired programming.

Whether Sky goes for it is the next question. It will also establish a Sky News editorial board to ensure the channel's independence, keep the United Kingdom headquarters in Osterley for five years and not acquire any majority interest in British newspapers for five years.

Fox said on Wednesday that it remained committed to its offer and was considering its options.

Comcast, which owns cable channels MSNBC and CNBC, argues its approach would escape concerns over media plurality because of its "minimal presence" in United Kingdom media.

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