Fox, Comcast and the battle for Sky: Let the fun and games begin

There is nothing better than being fought over, and Sky is in demand.

Today the governmentcleared not one but two bids for the company.

Rupert Murdoch’s 21 Century Fox has been trying to buy full control of Sky, the company that he founded, for the last 18 months.

The government has decided the deal would give Murdoch too much power over the UK Media. It can proceed but only if Sky News is first spun off.

Fox proposes selling Sky News to Disney. The government is happy to consider this but needs to be satisfied that Sky News will end up with a “suitable, well-resourced, committed purchaser”. A final decision is expected within a month.

Separately, of course, Disney has agreed a deal to buy up most of Fox’s entertainment assets, including Sky.

Meanwhile Comcast - another US media giant - has gate-crashed the party with a rival bid to buy Sky. The government has no problems with this deal going ahead.

To add to the sense of free-for-all, Comcast may also bid for Fox’s entertainment assets.

So, let the fun and games commence: Fox vs Comcast for ownership of Sky. Disney vs Comcast for the ownership of much of Fox.

It’s messy, it’s confusing, it’s a sign of the times. Amazon and Netflix are ascendant, the old order is being shaken-up. Media giants are huddling together for safety.

Shareholders will ultimately decide what happens next, Rupert Murdoch isn’t calling the shots.