Rupert Mudorch’s Nasdaq Stock Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOXA) is seeking to notify the European Authority of its intentions to bid $14.4 billion for European pay – TV company Sky (SKYB.L) in the coming few days. The decision is has not yet been finalized and both Sky and Fox have declined to make any comments. Reports, however, indicate that Fox may inform the union as soon as Friday or early next week in its quest to acquire the rest of the company and take full control of Sky. This move is likely to review and approval by the British government.
Fox unwavering ambition
This intention to buy the rest of the British company is viewed as a political charged process. It has always been in the interest of Mudorch to fully control Sky. The ambitions remained unwavered even after the disastrous attempt in about five years ago when their British newspaper was linked to a phone-hacking scandal. In December 2016, the company is said to have bargained for a deal worth 10.75 pounds per share with Sky independent shareholders. This was an intention to acquire the 61% not held by Sky so as to merge the media empire across two continents.
The acquisition process
On alerting the European Commission, Britain’s Media Department will be given 10 working days to evaluate if the bid needs to be looked up UK media regulator Ofcom. Ofcom will then evaluate if the bid will be damaging to the media at large. Legal specialists and analysts are hopeful that the bid will be forwarded to Ofcom for examination. The European Commission will evaluate the likely effects on the competition. Mudorch’s James, Chief Executive of Fox is positive that if the regulators Confirm facts around media ownership, then there should be no concessions will be required.
Fox’s interests have to conform to the interests of the public. It is therefore a necessity that it goes through Ofcom for scrutiny. Unfortunately, opposition from competitors, rights group and conspiracy theorists will crowd at Ofcom. The other disadvantage is the current prime minister who is likely to oppose the bid.