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21st Century Fox announced Wednesday it will sell its remaining stake in U.K. broadcaster Sky to Comcast, CNBC reports. The transaction will be worth about $15 billion.
Rupert Murdoch's Fox empire has long sought to own Sky, and it has spent months competing with Comcast to make the purchase. Murdoch and Comcast both hoped purchasing Sky would launch them into the streaming universe to compete with Netflix, NPR explains. But the U.S. cable company finally proved victorious Saturday when its offer of roughly $39 billion topped Fox's at an auction.
Comcast has since revealed that it owned over 30 percent of Sky's shares. Under U.K. rules, that meant Comcast had to offer to buy other investors' Sky shares, Reuters says. And on Wednesday, the Walt Disney Company, which purchased Fox in June, agreed to sell Fox's remaining shares to Comcast, meaning Fox's 39 percent stake will be added to Comcast's existing stake.
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Comcast and Fox have a bitter business rivalry, with Disney recently outbidding Comcast to purchase Fox for $71.3 billion. Wednesday's Sky sale will "significantly reduce the amount of debt Disney will incur in acquiring 21st Century Fox" and allow it to "invest in content creation for its direct-to-consumer platforms," Disney said in a statement.
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