Comcast Outbids Fox With $40B Offer in Sky Auction

With a bid of £17.28, Comcast appears to have won the auction for European satellite broadcaster Sky.

Comcast valued its offer at $40 billion.

21st Century Fox’s final bid was £15.67, according to reports.

After Fox and Comcast made dueling offers for Sky, the British government set up an auction process in order to settle the matter.

Owning Sky would expand Comcast footprint, most of whose business and subscribers are in the U.S. Sky also would provide access to new interactive technology that might help Comcast resist the cord-cutting trend by American consumes.

 “This is a great day for Comcast. Sky is a wonderful company with a great platform, tremendous brand, and accomplished management team,” said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. "This acquisition will allow us to quickly, efficiently and meaningfully increase our customer base and expand internationally. We couldn’t be more excited by the opportunities in front of us. We now encourage Sky shareholders to accept our offer, which we look forward to completing before the end of October 2018.”

Fox said that the Comcast offer has been recommended by Sky's Independent Committee and note that as a major shareholder, it will benefit from Comcast's higher bid.

" 21CF is considering its options regarding its own 39% shareholding in Sky and will make a further announcement in due course," Fox said in a statement. "Sky is a remarkable story and we are proud to have played such a significant role in building the incredible value reflected today in Comcast’s offer.”

Comcast's victory comes months after being outbid by the Walt Disney Co. for assets being sold by 21st Century Fox, including entertainment cable channels FX and National Geographic and TV and movie studios..

Fox had agreed to sell the assets to Disney even though Comcast thought it had made a richer offer. Fox head Rupert Murdoch reportedly preferred to receive Disney shares to Comcast shares in making the sales.

Comcast made an unsolicited public offer for the Fox assets, but it was resisted by Fox directors.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.