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Fox raised its bid to 14 pounds ($18.58) a share as it seeks the 61 percent of Sky not already under its control.

"Today, 21CF and the Independent Committee of Sky are pleased to announce that they have reached agreement on an increased. cash offer", a statement said on Wednesday.

Fox upped its offer for Sky by 30% on Wednesday, ahead of the deal getting the green light in the United Kingdom, which prompted Comcast to counter hours later with a richer $34 billion bid.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox increased Wednesday its bid to take full control of lucrative European pay TV service Sky in a prolonged battle with USA rival Comcast. Sky shares closed at 15.15 pounds.

The fight for Britain's leading pay-TV group is part of a bigger battle being waged in the entertainment industry as the world's media giants spend tens of billions of dollars to take on the rapid growth of Netflix (NFLX.O) and Amazon.com (AMZN.O).

Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) is identifying potential buyers for Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's (FOXA.O) regional sports networks in an attempt to ease antitrust concerns about a new bid to acquire most of Fox's assets, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Sky has become a pawn in a much larger struggle between Comcast and Disney (DIS), which are locked in a bidding war for most of Fox, including its existing stake in Sky. "We will be posting our offer document to Sky shareholders shortly". A Sky-Fox deal still has to be approved by the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport.

One hedge fund manager with a stake in Sky welcomed that pledge as a sign that Disney backed Fox in the battle.

Now, Comcast has made a new $34 billion offer for Sky, a move that some analysts believe means Comcast is planning to back away from the deal between Disney and Fox. Analysts said it was not a knock-out, and Fox did not say it was its final offer.

Regulators are concerned that Fox's ownership of Sky News would give Murdoch and his family too much influence over United Kingdom media.