Fox raises Sky offer to $32 billion in battle with Comcast

Fox raises Sky offer to $32 billion in battle with Comcast

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox on Wednesday revealed it had increased a takeover offer for pan-European TV group Sky, valuing the group at £24.5 billion and trumping Comcast's rival offer.

Comcast increased its bid for Sky Wednesday evening, beating an offer 21st Century Fox issued earlier in the day to continue a bidding war for the British broadcaster.

Comcast's bid for Sky is now at $31 billion, but the Philadelphia-based company has until Friday to up its offer or back out of the deal.

Fox's bid for Sky is the most recent episode in Murdoch's long-running effort to take full control of the company.

Fox's long-running pursuit for all of Sky has been plagued by United Kingdom government fears over media plurality and broadcasting standards and the influence of Australian-born U.S. citizen Murdoch.

Only this time, it's not Comcast standing in the Mouse House's way, but a shareholder named Robert Weiss, who recently filed a lawsuit to stop the historic Disney-Fox merger.

Rupert Murdoch's Fox has been waiting for approval from United Kingdom regulators before putting the deal to shareholders.

More news: USA fires next shot in China trade war

Comcast said its cash offer has been recommended by Sky's independent committee of directors and that it has committed the financing required for the deal.

A Fox shareholder has filed a lawsuit over Disney's pending acquisition of most of 21st Century Fox's assets, alleging that shareholders have been given misleading or incomplete information before their vote on July 27, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"This transformative transaction will position Sky so that it can continue to compete within an environment that now includes some of the largest companies in the world", Fox said.

The Department of Justice highlighted that Disney already owned a good chunk of the sports entertainment industry with ESPN, claiming that Fox's added assets would result in anti-competitive domination of the field.

Fox said the performance of Sky since 2016 justified its new bid.

Fox already owns 39.14 percent of Sky, but this effort to get a stronger hold on its entertainment assets is an element of Disney's possible $71.3 billion Fox takeover.

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