Comcast Clears EU Antitrust Hurdle for Sky Ahead of Disney Fight

(Bloomberg) -- Comcast Corp. won unconditional European Union approval for its bid to buy Sky Plc as Comcast and Walt Disney Co. jostle to acquire much of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc.

The European Commission found "no competition concerns in Europe," according to an emailed statement Friday. Comcast and Sky are mainly active on different levels of the market, it said.

Comcast and Disney are bidding against each other to take over much of Murdoch’s Fox empire, including Fox’s movie and TV studios, television networks such as FX, and multi-channel providers like Star India and Sky. Fox owns 39 percent of Sky.

Concerns that Comcast might hamper Sky rivals from accessing film or TV content or its TV channels were unfounded, the EU said, because its probe showed pay-TV distributors have plenty of alternatives. Sky isn’t likely to stop buying content from Comcast’s competitors as that would harm its product offering, nor was it likely to exclude rival channels from its platform due to regulations in the U.K., Germany or Austria, the EU said.

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