Shares of telecom and media companies fell as deal news continued.
Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox significantly lifted its offer price to consolidate ownership of Sky, heating up a bidding war with Comcast for the British broadcaster. Fox, which already owns 39% of Sky, lifted its bid to purchase the rest of the company by more than 30%, topping an offer from Comcast. Fox's GBP14-a-share offer values Sky at GPB24.5 billion ($32.5 billion). Comcast is expected to raise its Sky offer as early as this week, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Meanwhile, 21st Century Fox is expected to lose money on covering the World Cup after early rounds of the no-U.S.-squad tournament drew nearly a third fewer viewers than in 2014. 21st Century Fox and News Corp, owner of this newswire, share common ownership.
Univision Communications said that it is exploring a sale of its Gizmodo Media Group, which houses websites including Gizmodo and Deadspin, and the satirical website The Onion, as it focuses on core assets.
Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE Corp. was poised to resume business with its U.S. suppliers as the last major hurdle of the deal President Donald Trump made to save the firm had been cleared. The Commerce Department said Wednesday in a statement that it had reached an agreement with ZTE regarding the process by which the firm would deposit $400 million into an escrow account as part of a penalty for its violations of an earlier settlement. Once ZTE deposits the money, Commerce will allow it to resume buying from the U.S. suppliers on which its business depends, the statement said.
Shares of AT&T fell after Credit Suisse analyst Douglas Mitchelson initiated coverage of the stock with an underperform rating. He also started coverage of Verizon Communications with an outperform rating. (email@example.com)