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Sky Auction Is Biggest Test for 50-Year-Old Takeover Body

  • U.S. media giants go head-to-head for $36 billion pay-TV firm
  • Auctions didn’t always lead to higher bids, history shows
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The drawn-out battle for control of Sky between 21st Century Fox and Comcast reaches a climax this Saturday.(Source: Bloomberg)
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The future of British broadcaster Sky Plc will be decided with help from an influential body founded half a century ago to bring more discipline to M&A battles.

The Takeover Panel is stepping in as the fight between Comcast Corp. and 21st Century Fox Inc. for Sky heads to an auction starting later on Friday. Staffed mostly by financiers, corporate executives and lawyers, the Panel symbolizes Britain’s cultural hostility to state intervention in business, although since 1986 its decisions can be put to review by the judiciary.