THE battle to takeover Sky will be settled in a quick-fire auction on Saturday, with 21st Century Fox and Comcast facing off in a bidding war.

Fox owner Rupert Murdoch is aiming to fulfill his long-held ambition to seize full control of Sky. His company’s bid values the firm at £24.5 billion at £14 a share. Media and telecoms group Comcast, the largest cable operator in the US, values Sky at £26bn at £14.75 a share.

The three-stage process began at 5pm on Friday. In the first round of bidding, taking place on Saturday, Fox will make the first bid as it currently has the lowest offer.

Comcast will have a chance to respond in the second round, with the knowledge of Fox’s bid. If there is no increased bid, then the auction will end. If there is, then the final round will see both parties have a chance to raise their offers.

In the event that Fox and Comcast offer the same price for Sky, then the broadcaster’s independent directors will be left to declare the winner later on Saturday.