Fox proposes selling Sky News to Disney

Dianna Christensen
April 4, 2018

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is now scrutinising the deal, which would see Fox, which now controls 39 per cent of Sky, take full control of the company.

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority has said the deal would be "not in the public interest", largely because it would give the.

But the proposal faces another challenge as U.S. broadcaster Comcast is mounting its own £22.1 billion takeover approach for Sky.

Sky shares were up 1 percent to 13.10 pounds at 0951 BST on April 3. Indeed, popular British news outlets owned by the Murdoch family include newspapers the Sun, the Time and the Sunday Times.

"In the wider picture, Disney are more focused on the entertainment side of the business whereas Fox are more news focused", he told City A.M.

Fox agreed to buy all of the European pay-TV group in December 2016, but the deal has been repeatedly delayed by the British government and regulators.

A second offer is to turn Sky News separate legal entity with its own independent board and editorial independence that is continued to be owned by Sky but with funding guaranteed for 15 years.

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"21st Century Fox's proposed remedies on Sky News should be enough to overcome the CMA concerns on news plurality over Fox's bid for Sky", said Ian Whittaker, an analyst at Liberum Capital, in a first reaction.

(FOX, FOXA) to the CMA, specifically a legal separation and comprehensive ringfencing of Sky News; or a divestiture of Sky News to The Walt Disney Company envisaged to occur only after completion of 21CF's acquisition of Sky.

That could remove a major objection from the CMA, allowing Fox to acquire the 61% of Sky it doesn't already own.

"The big thing we still don't know is what Comcast are going to do about their potential offer for Sky, which in the short term at least has created a market in Sky shares which is far above the price that 21st Century Fox has offered", he explained.

The agency is mulling whether to recommend the Fox deal for Sky to Culture Secretary Matt Hancock for approval.

"Sky believes that both of these remedy proposals comprehensively address any plurality concerns the CMA may have, and would guarantee the long-term future of Sky News and its ongoing editorial independence", it said.

One London-based hedge fund said the measures should be sufficient, but that "the price issue is not going away", suggesting Fox would have to raise its bid. It now owns 39 percent of Sky. The deal would take place after Fox has bought the whole of Sky as it would be dependent on that going through.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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