Fox calls for in-depth scrutiny of Comcast bid for Sky

Thursday 8 March 2018 | 10:41 CET | News

The CFO of 21st Century Fox has urged UK and European regulators to open in-depth investigations into Comcast's broadcasting and competition compliance records, as well as the unusual structure of its bid for Sky, reports The Telegraph newspaper. 

Speaking at an investor conference in New York, John Nallen said that Comcast's proposed takeover offer for Sky should be subject to in-depth scrutiny, arguing that the US cable company 'has the characteristics of a global news organisation' and that regulators should examine its influence and conduct for violations of the broadcast standards code. 

A Comcast source rejected Nallen's claims, insisting that the regulatory approval process for Fox's takeover bid for Sky was down to the plurality of its media assets and standards of governance, issues which are not shared by Comcast. Fox's call for regulatory investigation of Comcast's approach for Sky comes after The Telegraph earlier reported that the US cable giant was racing to win approval for its bid.

It is understood to have told lawyers in the City to prepare for regulatory approval by summer 2018. Comcast's lawyers are believed to have contacted UK and EU regulators and are working on detailed filings, although Comcast has not yet made a firm offer for Sky. Comcast CEO Bryan Roberts is keen to show Sky shareholders owning the 61 percent not controlled by Fox that they would wait any longer for payment from Comcast, which has proposed a share price 16 percent higher than Fox's offer. 


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