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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

21st Century Fox has been granted regulatory approval to purchase Sky Broadcasting Thursday, after more than a year of making concessions to regulators. The news comes just hours after Comcast increased its bid for Sky to £14.75 per share, topping 21st Century Fox's upped bid yesterday for £14 per share.

Why it matters: Now that both Fox and Comcast are in solid regulatory standing with regulators in the UK, the winner of Sky will come down to who offers the highest bid. (Regulators signaled in May that it wouldn't block Comcast's bid for Sky. )

The big picture: Comcast is taking its bidding war with Fox for Sky Broadcasting in Europe seriously in the chance that it doesn't win Fox's entertainment assets in the US over Disney because it needs access to an international Pay-TV and streaming property.

The Sky's limit: With Comcast's increased offer, Sky is now worth $34 million, more than double Fox's original offer $15 million for the majority share of the properties over a year ago. But, sources say it's unlikely that the bidding war will go too much higher.

Sky Broadcasting is unique because it reaches nearly 23 million households across five European countries. It also has a robust over-the-top streaming business — which would help its new majority owner build a streaming audience overseas.

  • Comcast only makes 9% of its revenue internationally, as of now, and most of that presumably comes from NBCUniversal's movie studio business.

Go deeper

Moderna says vaccine appears to protect against new COVID-19 variants

Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is effective against new variants of the virus that first appeared in the U.K. and in South Africa, the company announced on Monday.

Yes, but: The vaccine was as effective against the strain from U.K., but saw a six-fold reduction in antibodies against the South Africa variant. Even still, the neutralizing antibodies generated by the vaccine "remain above levels that are expected to be protective," according to the company.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Updated 1 hour ago - World

Xi Jinping warns against "new cold war" in Davos speech

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Wang Zhao - Pool/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that a "new cold war" could turn hot, and must be avoided, in a speech on Monday at World Economic Forum’s virtual “Davos Agenda” conference.

Why it matters: Xi didn't refer directly to U.S.-China tensions, but the subtext was clear. These were his first remarks to an international audience since the inauguration of President Biden, whose administration has already concurred with Donald Trump's determination that China is committing "genocide" against Uyghur Muslims, and issued a warning about China's aggression toward Taiwan.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dominion files $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani

Photo: Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani on Monday seeking $1.3 billion in damages for his "demonstrably false” allegations about the company's voting machines.

Why it matters: Giuliani led former President Trump's efforts to overturn the results of the election and spread the baseless conspiracy theory that Dominion's voting machines flipped votes from Trump to Joe Biden.