Comcast has beaten 21st Century Fox to acquire Sky plc, the owner of Sky News for £29.7 billion.

In the biggest takeover bid ever seen in Europe’s media industry, Comcast has triumphed over Fox in a 21-month long auction process. Comcast came top with an offer of £17.28 per share, ahead of Fox’s offer of £15.67.

In a statement published on Sky News, Sky plc said, “As the price of the final Comcast Offer is materially superior, it is in the best interests of all Sky shareholders to accept the Comcast offer.

“Accordingly, the Independent Committee unanimously recommends that Sky shareholders accept the Comcast offer, and in order to ensure the successful closing of the Comcast offer, urges shareholders to accept immediately.”

Brian Roberts, chairman and chief executive officer of Comcast, said it was a “great day”.

He added, “Sky is a wonderful company with a great platform, tremendous brand, and accomplished management team.

“This acquisition will allow us to quickly, efficiently and meaningfully increase our customer base and expand internationally.

“We couldn’t be more excited by the opportunities in front of us.

“We now encourage Sky shareholders to accept our offer, which we look forward to completing before the end of October 2018.”

Jeremy Darroch, group chief executive for Sky, said: “This is the beginning of the next exciting chapter for Sky.

“Brian and his team have built a great business and we are looking forward to bringing our two companies together for the benefit of our customers and colleagues.

“As part of a broader Comcast we believe we will be able to continue to grow and strengthen our position as Europe’s leading direct to consumer media company.

“Today’s outcome is down to the hard work of tens of thousands of people who have built and developed this business together over the last 30 years. Sky has never stood still, and with Comcast our momentum will only increase.”

Fox is yet to comment on the news.