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Chris Hughes

Elliott or Mickey Mouse? The Takeover Cops Decide

The activist’s argument to make Disney pay more for Sky turns out to be too clever by half.

The takeover battle for Sky drags on.

The takeover battle for Sky drags on.

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Elliott Management Corp. picks so many fights that it is bound to lose some. Defeat in the activist fund’s battle with British takeover regulators has at least lifted the lid on how the U.K. regime actually functions.

The ruckus centers on Walt Disney Co.’s recent bids for Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.’s entertainment assets, among them its 39 percent stake in U.K. satellite broadcaster Sky Plc. The Takeover Panel rightly says that by virtue of buying Fox, Disney will get de facto control of Sky. So it should offer to buy out all Sky’s other shareholders at the same price Fox gets for its holding if the deal completes.