Rupert Murdoch gets go-ahead to bid for all of Sky

Mai Fyfield is viewed as one of the main architects of Sky's success

The decision by Jeremy Wright clears the final regulatory hurdle for Fox's bid for the 61 percent of Sky that it does not already own.

Fox offered a range of concessions to get its Sky bid approved, including offloading Sky News to Disney and guaranteeing its funding for 15 years.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Steven Cahall issued a report today noting that, with the bid for Sky, Comcast may be choosing sides as the cable giant simply can't afford both acquisitions.

Fox, which has been trying to buy the pan-European group since December 2016, offered to pay 1,400p per share, a 12 per cent premium to Comcast's earlier offer.

Shares in Sky (SKYB.L) jumped higher on Thursday after Comcast (CMCSA.O) submitted a $34 billion (25.74 billion pounds) bid for the group just hours after Rupert Murdoch raised his offer, escalating a trans-Atlantic bidding war for the European pan-TV group. He said if Comcast wins, shareholders continue to tender their shares and if Fox wins, a shareholder vote occurs on day 60.

Sky has become a pawn in a much larger struggle between Comcast and Disney (DIS), which are locked in a bidding war for most of Fox, including its existing stake in Sky.

U.S. media giant Comcast threw its hat into the ring in February with a £22bn offer for Sky, trumping an offer from Fox, and starting a bidding war. Fox now owns 39 percent of the European company and has been angling to purchase the remaining 61 percent. The Walt Disney Company has agreed to a $71 billion (Rs 4.88 lakh crore) takeover of Fox's entertainment assets, and will own all of Sky if Fox secures the deal.

"We welcome this increased offer", Martin Gilbert, deputy chairman of Sky, said in an emailed statement.

Murdoch had previously tried to buy Sky in 2011 when a phone hacking scandal at his News of the World tabloid sparked a political backlash over his role in Britain.

Following the announcement, Sky's share price was down 1.3 per cent at 14.81, though above the improved offer. The opposition has not completely subsided despite the plan to spin off Sky News.

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