Economy

Fox offers concessions over Sky News to seal takeover deal

Fox offers concessions over Sky News to seal takeover deal

The guarantees were made to the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which last month provisionally ruled that the takeover raised media plurality concerns surrounding the Murdoch family.

Just days after a United Kingdom regulator put a provisional block on the £11.7bn Fox-Sky deal saying it would concentrate too much power in Rupert Murdoch's hands, the US-based media group has now pledged to guarantee the independence of Sky News.

The editorial board of Sky News must be entirely comprised of independent members.

Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox has pledged to keep Sky News independent as it looks to assuage concerns related to its proposed acquisition of Sky (LON:SKY).

Because the larger transaction requires regulatory approval that will not be granted before the CMA must make a final ruling on the takeover of Sky, 21CF has said its independence undertakings relating to Sky News will evaporate if the Disney deal completes. Only the board would be able to hire and fire the head of Sky News and senior employees, including presenters.

Fox has been in talks to buy the remainder 61% of Sky for a number of months.

Fox offers concessions over Sky News to seal takeover deal
Fox offers concessions over Sky News to seal takeover deal

Fox's proposals regarding Sky News were made in response to the list of possible remedies, and were released by the CMA.

The entertainment group added in its submission therefore that its proposed remedies would cease to exist once the Disney takeover was sealed.

The Murdoch-owned media giant is seeking to wrest control of the channel as part of a $15.7bn takeover of pay TV provider Sky, but its rolling 24-hour news channel has proven to be the main stumbling block hindering this move.

Disney's proposed takeover, which still has to be approved by United States regulators, includes Fox's current 39% stake in Sky.

Fox said Monday that the Murdoch family would own less than 5 percent of the Fox-Disney combination after the merger.

Murdoch's last bid for the whole of Sky foundered amid the 2011 phone-hacking scandal, in which journalists working for his newspapers were accused of gaining illegal access to the voicemail messages of crime victims, celebrities and members of the royal family.

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