Comcast Challenges Fox’s Rupert Murdoch With US $31 Billion Bid for Sky

What: American TV broadcaster Comcast has offered US $31 billion for British company Sky.
Why it matters: This bid directly competes with 21st Century Fox’s Rupert Murdoch’s offer, which was provisionally blocked by the British Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in January.

Comcast Corporation, owner of CNBC and Universal Pictures, has announced in a press release that the firm has presented a US $31 billion offer to acquire Sky. At £12.5 per share, Comcast’s offer exceeds Murdoch’s £10.75 by 16%.

“Sky has been a consistent innovator in its use of technology to deliver a fantastic viewing experience and has a proud record of investment in news and programming. It has great people and a very strong and capable management team,” said Brian L. Roberts, CEO of Comcast Corporation.

Bob Iger and Rupert Murdoch, photo by Disney©

The news is an interesting turn of events for Disney, whose CEO Bob Iger has a pending arrangement with Fox, which was announced after Murdoch’s offer got blocked by the CMA. Will Disney be content with acquiring Fox without Sky? Probably not, especially if we remember Iger said Disney would not be forced to bid should Fox fail to acquire the totality of Sky, which he called “a crown jewel” among Fox’s assets.

Will Iger be satisfied by the agreement with Fox if Comcast’s bid prevails over Murdoch’s, or will he engage in a bidding war with the American broadcaster? We’ll see.