Sky News offered up as Murdoch battles to get Sky acquisition over the line | Major Businesses | Business
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The saga of 21st Century Fox’s bid to acquire the Sky pay-TV business has taken yet another twist with the news that Disney has offered to buy Sky News to allay UK regulatory fears of the deal handing the Murdoch family too much power in the UK media market.

After nearly a decade of tribulations regarding Rupert Murdoch’s cherished ambition to gain 100% control of a company in which he holds a 39.1% stake, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) provisionally found on 23 January 2018 that Fox taking full control of Sky was not in the public interest due to media plurality concerns

As it scrambled to address these plurality concerns 21st Century Fox offered to guarantee funding for ten years of its Sky News outlet. Yet just weeks later, US cable giant Comcast entered the fray to crash the deal, lodging a cash proposal of £12.50 per Sky share which it said represents a 16% increase in value over the existing 21st Century Fox offer and implying an equity value of $31 billion (£22 billion) for Sky. As well as thwarting Murdoch’s plans, the offer threw into doubt Disney’s proposed $66 billion acquisition of Fox TV and film assets which included Fox’s Sky holding

To ease the fears of legislators on both sides of the Atlantic, Fox is mulling two options. One of these will see Disney making an offer to buy Sky News from Fox outright, thus potentially alleviating worries that the respected UK news channel may adopt a Fox News-style modus operandi post acquisition.

“We have proposed a set of solutions that address and resolve any and all questions or concerns that may have been raised by the transaction,” the Financial Times quoted Gerson Zweifach, Fox’s senior executive vice-president and group general counsel as saying regarding the new move. “We look forward to concluding this acquisition — finally — in a timely and expeditious manner.”

In a statement, Disney added: “To secure CMA approval Fox has proposed to the CMA that it would divest Sky News to Disney as a condition of Fox’s acquisition of the remainder of Sky ... if Fox was cleared to buy Sky, Disney would buy Sky News and agree to sustain the operating capital of Sky News and maintain its editorial independence.”