Comcast’s $31 Billion Bid for Sky Receives Regulatory Bump

Comcast’s proposed $31 billion offer for British satellite TV operator Sky isn’t generating any concern from the government’s Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Comcast May 7 formally submitted a counter-offer to 21st Century Fox’s $15 billion bid to acquire shares of Sky it does not already own.

“Having reviewed the relevant evidence available, I can confirm that … I am minded not to issue [regulatory concern] on the basis that the proposed merger does not raise concerns in relation to public interest considerations, which would meet the threshold for intervention,” Mike Hancock said in a statement.

Separately, media reports say Fox will formally ask shareholders to vote in July on The Walt Disney Co.’s $52.4 billion offer for 20th Century Fox Film, which includes 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Comcast reportedly is readying its own bid for Fox assets in June.

In January, the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority issued a report warning Fox’s majority takeover of Sky without concessions would not be in the public’s best interest.

Fox, like Comcast, has vowed to leave Sky News as an autonomous operation with editorial and fiscal freedom in the event of a merger.

The CMA said successful bids by Disney or Comcast of Sky would “significantly weaken” Rupert Murdoch’s tie to Sky – the basis of the regulator’s concerns.

“On the face of it, these concerns would fall away,” the CMA said.

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