Thursday, 12 July 2018

21st Century Fox bid for Sky gets government approval

The government has given the green light to a takeover of Sky plc, owner of Sky News, by US entertainment giant 21st Century Fox following 19 months of regulatory enquiries.
The decision comes as the bidding war for Sky between Fox and the US cable giant Comcast intensifies.
The new culture secretary, Jeremy Wright, confirmed the decision of his predecessor, Matt Hancock, to allow the takeover to proceed on the basis that Sky News is sold to Disney - which is trying to buy Fox's entertainment assets, including Sky - or an "alternative suitable buyer" following a 15-day public consultation.

The remedy over Sky News was agreed by Fox and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport after the Competition and Markets Authority advised that a takeover could act against the public interest because of its impact on plurality of media ownership in the UK. Fox's biggest shareholder is the Murdoch Family Trust, which is also the biggest shareholder in News Corporation, owner of The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times.

Disney has already agreed to buy Sky News from Fox and has promised to fund the business to the tune of at least £100m a year for the next 15 years. It has also promised to maintain the editorial independence of Sky News. Comcast has also offered legally binding commitments to preserve the editorial independence and funding of Sky News.

Fox, currently Sky's biggest shareholder with a 39.1% stake, first said back in December 2016 that it wanted to take full control of Europe's largest pay-tv broadcaster. It tabled a 1075p-a-share offer that valued Sky at £18.5bn.

SKY           News.

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