Culture secretary Jeremy Wright gives Fox the green light on its Sky bid

Emily Nicolle
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The battle for Sky takes a new turn
The battle for Sky takes a new turn (Source: Getty)

Secretary of state Jeremy Wright has confirmed that Sky is now free to accept the bid by 21st Century Fox for $32.5bn (£24.5bn).

In a process started by his predecessor Matt Hancock, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) had been holding the proposed merger between Sky and Fox under review while awaiting a decision on the deal by the Competitive Markets Authority (CMA).

A follow-up consultation on the CMA's decision closed last week.

Wright said in a statement this morning:

Having considered the responses to the consultation, the previous secretary of state agreed with the parties a clarificatory change to Disney’s undertakings and changes to the associated brand licensing agreement.

In response to specific concerns raised by respondents, he also agreed that where appropriate the secretary of state will consult with the CMA in relation to these undertakings and will publish the formal written advice given by the CMA. I am content to confirm this position.

He added: "It is now a matter for the Sky shareholders to decide whether to accept Fox’s bid."

The news comes as rival bidder Comcast raised its offer for Sky late last night, in a deal valuing it at $34bn. Comcast said that its offer has been recommended by Sky's independent directors to shareholders, and has committed the financing required for the deal.

Read more: Sky's the limit: Comcast raises bid to $34bn

Sky now has 60 days to weigh up the offers before making a decision, with the deal expected to be completed by October.

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