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June 14 is the deadline for European Union regulators to weigh in on Comcast's pending $31 billion bid to buy out satcaster Sky. According to Reuters' sources, Murdoch favors stock transactions because they are non-taxable for shareholders.

"Regarding potential acquisitions, it is our job to continuously evaluate whether there are opportunities for us to create value", said Comcast CFO Michael Cavanaugh in a recent earnings call.

Reuters reported yesterday of Comcast attempting to increase investments to outbid the Walt Disney Company's $52 billion offer.

It is keen to show Sky's investors that it can get through the regulatory process quickly, unlike Fox, which has faced repeated delays since it first agreed a takeover of Sky in December 2016. Comcast declined to comment.

NBCUniversal's owner is awaiting the outcome of the AT&T and Time Warner merger, which is opposed by the Trump administration, before it proceeds.

All of this is crucially important to movie lovers, because the deal is not borne out of a sense of insolvency at 20th Century Fox.

It is not clear how receptive he would be to an all-cash offer, the report added.

United States media giant Comcast is eyeing a US$52bn bid for the 21st Century Fox assets that had seemed set for Disney and has officially notified the European Commission (EC) that it intends to bid for satcaster Sky.

If the deal does proceed, however, and Comcast edges in to steal Disney's thunder, then it will simultaneously interrupt the company's efforts to "reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool" with the rest of the established Marvel Universe, much to fan disapproval. Both Disney and Comcast see Sky as a vital platform for furthering their content and OTT strategies in global growth markets. Disney will also acquire FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India and Fox's interests in Hulu, Sky plc, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.

Comcast has so far made the higher offer, at £12.5 a share compared with Fox's £10.75. If that merger is allowed to go ahead, it will be a sign that Comcast is less likely to face regulatory barriers to buying Fox.