The summer’s Fox / Comcast / Disney drama came to a close last week when Comcast finally managed to outbid 21st Century Fox for a controlling stake in European TV and broadband provider Sky for $38.8 billion. And now, having lost that battle, Fox is ceding the remainder of its existing 39 percent ownership to Comcast in a $15 billion deal that would see Comcast gain full control of the UK telecom company, as reported by Variety.
Fox had long been attempting to gain full control of Sky — Fox’s existing 39 percent stake as well as the intended remainder of the company was set to be included as part of the Disney deal — but ran into a competing bid from Comcast, which also tried to one-up the House of Mouse in buying Fox. In the end, it seems the two major corporations will split the prize: Disney managing to outbid Comcast for Fox, and Comcast taking Sky from Fox (and, therefore, Disney).
Sky is important for both of the companies in what it represents — an existing distribution network for big chunks of the European market, which the US-based Comcast (which owns NBC and Universal) and Disney are both eying as they look to expand their content into more markets.