(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 17, 2017 a Sky logo is pictured on a sign next to the entrance to pay-TV giant Sky Plc's headquarters in Isleworth, west London. Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, revealed it had increased a takeover offer for pan-European TV group Sky, valuing the group at ��24.5 billion ($32.5 billion, 27.7 billion euros) and trumping Comcast's rival offer. / AFP / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS
Comcast, the biggest US cable company, has increased it bid for Sky takeover to $34bn. AFP 

Comcast tops Murdoch offer by boosting Sky bid to $34bn



Comcast responded to 21st Century Fox's £24.5 billion bid less than 24 hours later, offering £26 billion as part of the escalating bidding war between the two media giants over the ownership of Sky news network.

According to people close to Comcast, CEO Brian Roberts immediately responded to 21st Century Fox's latest bid, allowing not even a day to pass without retaliating with a counter-offer the reported.

Mr Roberts commented that “we have long admired Sky which we believe is an outstanding company and a great fit with Comcast". Sky operates in a number of European countries including Austria, Germany, Ireland and Italy as well as the UK. It has 22.5 million customers reaching across the Europe and is an ideal platform to penetrate the European market.

Martin Gilbert, the deputy chairman of Sky, told the Financial Times the entertainment group's independent committee had unanimously recommended the improved offer from Comcast.

Comcast attempted to block Mr Murdoch's attempt to buy the 61% of Sky his company did not already own in February while the Fox deal awaited government approval. The then Culture Secretary, Matt Hancock, said last month there would be no public interest concerns with a Comcast takeover of Sky.

If the UK Government Department of Culture gives regulatory approval for the bid, as is expected, then Fox has 28 days to notify shareholders that they need to vote on the deal. However, due to concerns about Murdoch holding the majority of shares in Sky, Fox will have to sell Sky News to win government approval because of concerns about media plurality.

Comcast is also approaching the deadline to offer a deal to Sky shareholders, who then have up to 60 days to reach a decision on the offer based on UK takeover rules.

Comcast's bidding competition with Fox over Sky comes as part of a larger all-or-nothing bidding war between Comcast and Disney to purchase FOX where, if Fox were to buy up Sky, whichever company subsequently buys it will dominate the US-UK media market - a giant development in the industry.  This financial shakeup comes at a time when new digital players led by Netflix are wreaking havoc on the business models of long-established companies.

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Disney and Comcast are each determined to win Fox news businesses, including movie studios, cable channels, National Geographic and a 30% stake in video website Hulu, as well as Indian network Star. Established media companies like Disney are looking for deals that would help them meet the challenge of fast-growing rivals including Netflix and Amazon.

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

FIGHT CARD

Bantamweight Hamza Bougamza (MAR) v Jalal Al Daaja (JOR)

Catchweight 67kg Mohamed El Mesbahi (MAR) v Fouad Mesdari (ALG)

Lighweight Abdullah Mohammed Ali (UAE) v Abdelhak Amhidra (MAR)

Catchweight 73kg Mostafa Ibrahim Radi (PAL) v Yazid Chouchane (ALG)

Middleweight Yousri Belgaroui (TUN) v Badreddine Diani (MAR)

Catchweight 78kg Rashed Dawood (UAE) v Adnan Bushashy (ALG)

Middleweight Sallaheddine Dekhissi (MAR) v Abdel Emam (EGY)

Catchweight 65kg Rachid Hazoume (MAR) v Yanis Ghemmouri (ALG)

Lighweight Mohammed Yahya (UAE) v Azouz Anwar (EGY)

Catchweight 79kg Omar Hussein (PAL) v Souhil Tahiri (ALG)

Middleweight Tarek Suleiman (SYR) v Laid Zerhouni (ALG)

The Little Mermaid

Director: Rob Marshall
Stars: Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Melissa McCarthy, Javier Bardem
Rating: 2/5

Pros and cons of BNPL

Pros

  • Easy to use and require less rigorous credit checks than traditional credit options
  • Offers the ability to spread the cost of purchases over time, often interest-free
  • Convenient and can be integrated directly into the checkout process, useful for online shopping
  • Helps facilitate cash flow planning when used wisely

Cons

  • The ease of making purchases can lead to overspending and accumulation of debt
  • Missing payments can result in hefty fees and, in some cases, high interest rates after an initial interest-free period
  • Failure to make payments can impact credit score negatively
  • Refunds can be complicated and delayed

Courtesy: Carol Glynn

Heavily-sugared soft drinks slip through the tax net

Some popular drinks with high levels of sugar and caffeine have slipped through the fizz drink tax loophole, as they are not carbonated or classed as an energy drink.

Arizona Iced Tea with lemon is one of those beverages, with one 240 millilitre serving offering up 23 grams of sugar - about six teaspoons.

A 680ml can of Arizona Iced Tea costs just Dh6.

Most sports drinks sold in supermarkets were found to contain, on average, five teaspoons of sugar in a 500ml bottle.

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Engine: 3.5-litre V6

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Power: 290hp

Torque: 340Nm

Price: Dh155,800

On sale: now

Dark Souls: Remastered
Developer: From Software (remaster by QLOC)
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Price: Dh199

What is hepatitis?

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, which can lead to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer.

There are 5 main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E.

Hepatitis C is mostly transmitted through exposure to infective blood. This can occur through blood transfusions, contaminated injections during medical procedures, and through injecting drugs. Sexual transmission is also possible, but is much less common.

People infected with hepatitis C experience few or no symptoms, meaning they can live with the virus for years without being diagnosed. This delay in treatment can increase the risk of significant liver damage.

There are an estimated 170 million carriers of Hepatitis C around the world.

The virus causes approximately 399,000 fatalities each year worldwide, according to WHO.

 

MIDWAY

Produced: Lionsgate Films, Shanghai Ryui Entertainment, Street Light Entertainment
Directed: Roland Emmerich
Cast: Ed Skrein, Woody Harrelson, Dennis Quaid, Aaron Eckhart, Luke Evans, Nick Jonas, Mandy Moore, Darren Criss
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

The specs

Engine: 1.8-litre 4-cyl turbo
Power: 190hp at 5,200rpm
Torque: 320Nm from 1,800-5,000rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch auto
Fuel consumption: 6.7L/100km
Price: From Dh111,195
On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo

Power: 201hp at 5,200rpm

Torque: 320Nm at 1,750-4,000rpm

Transmission: 6-speed auto

Fuel consumption: 8.7L/100km

Price: Dh133,900

On sale: now

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

Switching sides

Mahika Gaur is the latest Dubai-raised athlete to attain top honours with another country.

Velimir Stjepanovic (Serbia, swimming)
Born in Abu Dhabi and raised in Dubai, he finished sixth in the final of the 2012 Olympic Games in London in the 200m butterfly final.

Jonny Macdonald (Scotland, rugby union)
Brought up in Abu Dhabi and represented the region in international rugby. When the Arabian Gulf team was broken up into its constituent nations, he opted to play for Scotland instead, and went to the Hong Kong Sevens.

Sophie Shams (England, rugby union)
The daughter of an English mother and Emirati father, Shams excelled at rugby in Dubai, then after attending university in the UK played for England at sevens.