Murdoch offers to sell Sky News to Disney to win pay-TV prize

04 April, 2018, 01:12 | Author: Gladys Mathis
  • Acquisition: Fox Proposes to Sell Sky News to Disney

Under the second proposal, Disney would buy the carved-out Sky News business, pledging to maintain its new corporate governance structure for 10 years, and ensure that changes are not made to the company's editorial guidelines without approval from regulators or the relevant government minister.

The Murdoch-controlled Hollywood studio is interested to turn Sky News into a single legal entity that would be moved to Disney as soon as 21st Century Fox's possession of Sky has come to the end.

Fox said the proposals would protect Sky News' independence and that Disney has expressed an interest in buying Sky News "whether or not" its own separate proposed acquisition of 21st Century Fox proceeds - Disney is trying to take over many parts of Fox, notably its movie and television studios, which as well as its US sports network.

The proposed takeover is very controversial as critics have warned tit would leave too much media power in the hands of the Murdoch family - who already own The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun.

Their view appeared vindicated when Comcast said it would pay 12.50 pounds a share to buy Sky, although it has not yet made a formal bid.

Fox is continuing to work with United Kingdom regulators on finalizing the deal for Sky while also fending off a rival bid from Comcast.

Analysts Liberum Capital said the Fox remedies "should be adequate" to overcome the regulator's media plurality concerns.

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United Kingdom regulators have been anxious that a takeover of Sky would give Murdoch - whose News Corp. owns The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun newspapers - too much sway over British media.

Much of its decision to propose buying Sky News lies in a desire to eventually own Sky, which has 23 million customers and holds lucrative broadcast rights to the English Premier League and other professional soccer leagues. It now owns 39 percent of Sky. They added that Sky news will also have an independent board for Sky News.

The authority has until May 1 to make a final recommendation to the United Kingdom government, which then must decide whether to back the Fox-Sky deal, approve it with conditions or reject it.

Sky also said the proposals would address regulatory concerns.

At the same time however, Disney announced last December that it would buy Fox for $52.4-billion.

The Sky News proposal would take place regardless of whether that acquisition was successfully concluded, Fox said.

"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", Gerson Zweifach, Fox's general counsel, said in an emailed statement.

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