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Comcast outbids Fox with $39 billion offer for British broadcaster Sky in auction

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Comcast (CMCSA.O) beat Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA.O) in the battle for Sky (SKYB.L) after offering more than 30 billion pounds ($39 billion) for the British broadcaster, in a dramatic auction to decide the fate of the pay-television group.

U.S. cable giant Comcast bid 17.28 pounds a share for control of London-listed Sky, bettering a 15.67 pounds a share offer by Fox, the Takeover Panel said in a statement shortly after final bids were made on Saturday.

Comcast’s final offer was significantly higher than its bid going into the auction of 14.75 pounds, and compares with Sky’s closing share price of 15.85 pounds on Friday.

Brian Roberts, chairman and chief executive of Comcast, coveted Sky to expand its international presence as growth slows in its core U.S. market.

Owning Sky will make Comcast the world’s largest pay-TV operator with around 52 million customers.

“This is a great day for Comcast,” Roberts said on Saturday.

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“This acquisition will allow us to quickly, efficiently and meaningfully increase our customer base and expand internationally.”

Comcast, which also owns the NBC network and movie studio Universal Pictures, encouraged Sky shareholders to accept its offer. It said it wanted to complete the deal by the end of October.

Comcast, which require 50 percent plus one share of Sky’s equity to win control, said it was also seeking to buy Sky shares in the market.

A spokesman for Fox, which has a 39 percent holding in Sky, declined to comment.

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The quick-fire auction marked a dramatic climax to a protracted transatlantic bidding battle waged since February, when Comcast gate-crashed Fox’s takeover of Sky.

It is a blow to 87-year-old media mogul Murdoch and the U.S. media and entertainment group that he controls, which had been trying to take full ownership of Sky since December 2016.

It is also a setback for U.S. entertainment giant Walt Disney (DIS.N), which agreed a separate $71 billion deal to buy the bulk of Fox’s film and TV assets, including the Sky stake, in June and would have taken ownership of the British broadcaster following a successful Fox takeover.

($1 = 0.7648 pounds)

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Trump’s golf courses fired these five undocumented workers — now they have a plan to spoil his 2020 launch

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Five undocumented immigrants who worked for President Donald Trump's golf courses for years are planning to crash his big 2020 campaign kickoff rally in Florida on Tuesday.

The New York Daily News reports that the former Trump workers plan on going to his rally to highlight his "cruelty and hypocrisy" for welcoming undocumented immigrants to work at his clubs until they became a political inconvenience.

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Congressmen ask special counsel to bring the hammer down on Jared Kushner for Hatch Act violations

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Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) have asked the Office of Special Counsel to open an investigation into Jared Kushner for alleged violations of the Hatch Act.

According to the congressmen, Kushner violated the law by "engaging in prohibited campaign fundraising activities."

Reports have suggested that Kushner has used his official role in the White House to aid President Donald Trump's reelection effort.

Last week the Office of Special Counsel took the unprecedented step of recommending Kellyanne Conway's removal from service for violations of the Hatch Act.

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‘Black students don’t tip’: Texas restaurant says forcing African-American kids to pay gratuity is not racist

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A restaurant in Cypress, Texas has come under fire after an employee allegedly said that black students "don't tip."

Brittany Blakney told KPRC that she and her friends went to Locatelli’s restaurant to celebrate graduating from Prairie View A&M University.

Blakney said that she was surprised to find out that the server had already added a 15% gratuity to her check.

“He said, 'Black students from Prairie View don’t tip,'” she recalled.

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