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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.

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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.

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

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.

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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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Princeton historian delivers the definitive smackdown of Trump’s ‘insulting’ lynching tweet

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Princeton University History Professor Kevin Kruse on Tuesday delivered a thorough takedown of President Donald Trump's claim that House Democrats' impeachment inquiry represents a "lynching."

In calling the tweet "twelve different kinds of bullsh*t," Kruse began by discussing the constitutional mechanics of the impeachment process in the House that only require a bare majority of lawmakers to favor in order to advance. Concerns about due process in impeachment only come into play in the Senate, where the president is ensured a fair trial and where two-thirds of lawmakers are needed to convict the president and remove him from office.

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CNN panel busts Trump for ‘grotesque’ lynching comment in effort to create chaos before key impeachment hearing

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Moments after Donald Trump fired off a tweet calling his impending impeachment a "lynching" a CNN panel hammered the president for making the horrific comparison -- but also pointed out that the president's use of the word was timed for a very specific reason.

Admitting a reluctance to read Trump's tweets on the air, "New Day" host Alisyn Camerota nonetheless, recited the president's tweet, reading, "So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights,” Trump tweeted. “All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!” with obvious disgust.

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‘We’ve got a queer running for president!’ Tennessee official bursts into a racist, anti-gay rant at council meeting

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On Monday in Sevier County, Tennessee, during a county commission meeting to discuss a pending vote to become a gun sanctuary city, Commissioner Warren Hurst exploded in a racist, homophobic tirade that stunned onlookers.

"It's time we wake up people, it's time, it's past time," said Hurst, in footage originally captured by WVLT News. "We got a queer running for president, if that ain't about as ugly as you can get. Look what we got running for president in the Democratic party. We can go over here to [Sevier County Sheriff] Hoss' jail and get better people out of there than those running for Democratic [sic] to be president of the United States."

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