Bidding war for European broadcaster Sky is hurtling towards a dramatic showdown.
Just hours after Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox agreed to make a $32.5bn bid to buy Sky, rival bidder Comcast has countered with a $34bn bid for the broadcaster.
Fox already owns 39pc of Sky and wants to complete its ownership.
American cable TV giant Comcast entered the bidding war in April with an initial $31bn bid, frustrating Murdoch’s plans.
Fox is going all-out to win ownership of Sky, even selling its entertainment assets to Walt Disney as well as its stake in regional sports networks and Hulu.
Comcast is also battling against Disney for ownership of the Fox entertainment assets, understood to be worth $71bn.
It’s all about the future of media
Yesterday (11 July), Fox increased its bid for Sky, valuing the latter at $32.5bn.
Comcast quickly countered this morning with its $34bn offer for the European satellite broadcaster and broadband provider, a 5pc premium on Fox’s offer.
The bidding war comes at an interesting time for the entertainment industry as newcomers such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube shake up the traditional TV and movie world.
In June, the $85.4bn merger of telecoms giant AT&T with Time Warner was given legal approval in the US, clearing the way for the biggest telecoms player in the US to take ownership of one the nation’s biggest entertainment empires.
The prize in these shifting sands is a consumer that wants the best of everything – especially broadband and mobile connectivity along with the best entertainment – in return for a recurring fee.