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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Just weeks after it was rumored to have placed a higher bid for Fox's entertainment assets than Disney, American cable giant Comcast announced that it is placing a $31 cash billion bid for a majority stake (over 50%) in Europe's Sky News, topping 21st Century Fox's $15 billion bid for an additional 61% of the network that it doesn’t already own.

Why it matters: Fox has been pursuing a majority stake in Sky for months, but has been facing regulatory hurdles around the deal. British authorities were supposed to give Fox a final decision this spring, but Comcast's bid could change the deal outlook for the network, which is simultaneously hoping to complete a $52 billion merger with Disney in the United States.

Between the lines: The bid shows how aggressive Comcast, which owns a majority stake in NBCUniversal, is willing to pursue content deals globally.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said Tuesday that the cable company is looking to acquire over 50% of the Sky shares in order launch a platform for growth in Europe. “Adding Sky to the Comcast family of businesses will increase our international revenues from 9% to 25% of company revenues," Roberts said.

  • Fox has offered some remedies to address media ownership plurality in Europe. The company recently pledged to create a fully independent board for Sky News to ensure its independence, should its $15 billion bid to take a majority stake in the Pay-TV company be approved.

The bigger picture: Many legacy media players have been consolidating to be able to compete with tech giants, like Google, Facebook and Netflix. Discovery Communications acquired Scripps Inc. for $14 billion this summer.

Go deeper

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

8 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

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