European antitrust regulators are set to clear US cable giant Comcast Corp.’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) bid for European pay-TV channel Sky PLC (LON:SKY) without conditions, Reuters reported Friday citing two people familiar with the matter.
Comcast is reportedly offering US$31bn to buy Sky, officially starting a bidding war between the US cable giant and Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc. (NASDAQ:FOXA), which has offered $16.5bn for the company.
The European Commission is scheduled to decide on Comcast’s offer by June 15. It cleared without conditions Fox’s bid for Sky in April last year.
Why is a U.K.-based television company such a sought-after piece of property, and what could a deal mean for Comcast's customers?
According to the Washington Post, a deal would "give Comcast access to a bigger overseas audience and new TV programming."
Reuters writes that Sky’s 23 million customers make it “an invaluable asset to any media group” seeking to better compete against online groups Netflix and Amazon.
Murdoch has already agreed to sell many of his TV and film assets, including Sky, to Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) in a separate $52 billion deal. However, Comcast, which has been relentless in its pursuit of 21st Century Fox, is reported to be preparing a bid for 21st Century Fox to top Disneys (US$52.4bn offer for Murdoch’s media business.