A winner will soon be declared in a power struggle that has been playing out between 21st Century Fox and Comcast for control of the broadcaster Sky. The AP reports that the U.K. media company will go to the highest bidder in an auction taking place this Saturday.
The auction is “designed to put an end to months of offers and counteroffers from the American media empires seeking a foothold in the European pay TV market,” the AP reports. “The auction will begin after the London stock market’s close on Friday and end sometime Saturday evening following a maximum of three rounds of bidding, said Britain’s regulator, the Takeover Panel.”
The report notes that Fox has been trying for some time to acquire the 61 percent of Sky it doesn’t already own.
“A bidding war emerged last December, when Comcast made an offer for Fox’s entertainment assets, which Disney is in the process of buying for about $71 billion. Comcast eventually dropped out of that contest to focus on its acquisition of Sky,” the AP reports.
The report quotes the Takeover Panel saying it called the auction “to provide an orderly framework for the resolution of this competitive situation.”
Variety notes that Comcast currently has the higher bid on the table.
“Comcast’s current bid for Sky values it as £26 billion ($34 billion), or £14.75 per share,” Variety reports. “Fox has offered £14 per share. Both have upped their bids over the past months as their face-off played out. Fox already owns 39% of Sky, which has extensive pay-TV operations in the U.K., Germany and Italy.”