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Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

21st Century Fox and Comcast are likely headed to a settlement auction this weekend, after a months-long bidding war for European broadcaster Sky.

Why it matters: Sky is a unique international property because it reaches millions of European homes and has a growing streaming audience. Both American broadcast giants were looking to increase their international footprints, although the equation has changed for Fox now that it has agreed to sell some of its assets to Disney.

How it works: Members of the U.K. Takeover Panel say the auction will happen unless a "final and best" offer is submitted by either company by 5 p.m. Friday. If neither submits a bid, which is likely, the fight will move to an auction ending Saturday.

  • The rules of the auction provide that there can only be up to three rounds of bidding. The highest bid will be publicly announced Saturday after the entire process is finished. The final round, if it gets that far, calls for secret bids to be submitted to the regulator.
  • Comcast submitted the highest bid so far back in July at $34 billion ($19.49 per share), topping Fox's latest bid of $32.5 billion ($18.60 per share). Both firms have gotten approval from regulators for the deal, although Fox's approval process was far more painful than Comcast's, due to the fact that the Murdoch family already owns many media properties in the U.K.
  • Fox currently owns a 39% stake in Sky, which it plans to sell to the Walt Disney Company upon completion of its merger back in the U.S. It would also sell off whatever stake it wins with Sky as a part of that deal.

The big picture: Sky is unique because it reaches nearly 23 million households across six European countries, including the U.K., Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland and Austria. It also has a robust streaming business — which would help its new majority owner build an audience overseas.

Be smart: Auctions to settle a dealmaking process as large as this one are unusual, but it ensures the process will finally come to a quick and fair close. While Comcast only entered the bidding war in April, Fox has been pursuing Sky for nearly two years now.

What's' next? If Comcast wins the auction — which seems likely as it lost its bid for Fox's mostly-international entertainment assets to Disney this summer. Fox's participation could drive up Comcast's ultimate cost, making its minority stake that much more valuable.

Go deeper: What's in the deal for Comcast, Fox.

Go deeper

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.

Del Rio bridge camp empty following Haitian migrant surge

A boy bathes himself in a jug of water inside a migrant camp at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sept. 21 in Del Rio, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The last migrants camping under the Del Rio International Bridge, which connects Texas and Mexico, departed on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced during a White House press briefing.

Driving the news: Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, had arrived to the makeshift camp after crossing the southern border seeking asylum. Roughly 1,800 migrants will now head to U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centers.