The bidding war over Sky should conclude by 11 October at the latest, after The Takeover Panel stepped in to ensure that rival suitors Fox and Comcast submit their final offers this weekend.
The UK panel is making Fox and Comcast compete in an auction process on Saturday (22 September) to produce their final offers, which the panel will publish as soon as possible after the auction concludes that day.
Sky shareholders can then make a decision on which offer they want to accept with the knowledge that no higher offers can be submitted after the auction.
The panel has stipulated that “11 October 2018 shall be the last day on which either offeror’s offer can become or can be declared unconditional as to acceptances”.
The higher of the two bids on the table at the moment, from Comcast at £14.75 per share, values Sky at £26bn. Sky shares are currently trading at £15.79.
Fox, which has agreed to sell its entertainment assets to Disney, already owns 39% of Sky.