European Commission approves sale of Sky to Comcast

June 15 (UPI) — The European Commission granted approval on Friday for Comcast’s $30.7 billion takeover of British pay television broadcaster Sky.

Comcast, a U.S. cable media company, offered $31 billion in April, a higher figure than a bid from 21st Century Fox, which holds a 39 percent stake in Sky and sought full ownership.

Comcast, which owns NBC Universal, announced a $65 billion all-cash offer Wednesday for Fox assets that include Hulu, Sky, Dutch television production company Endemol Shine Group and U.S. cable networks FX, Star TV and National Geographic.

Disney expressed an interest in purchasing the Fox package of properties, and experts say Friday’s move by the European Commission could prompt a media bidding war, CNBC reported on Friday.

Acquisition of Sky would strengthen Comcast’s international position at a time when cable subscription is lagging in the United States.

Comcast said Friday it expects to complete the acquisition by the end of the year.