Oct 12, 2017

Independent investors censure Sky on pay and Murdoch

Sky and its chairman James Murdoch suffered a rebuke from independent shareholders at the broadcaster's annual meeting with strong protest vote over pay at the company. Some 64 per cent of votes on the remuneration report by shareholders independent of 21st Century Fox, the Murdoch family-owned US media group, also went against Sky. The vote also came in the wake of Fox's controversial £11.7bn bid for full control of Sky, a deal that has come up against political opposition in the UK. However, Mr Murdoch was reappointed by the majority of investors at the company's annual meeting, backed by 21st Century Fox's 39 per cent shareholding. In the at times fiery meeting, small shareholders in Sky raised concern over issues such as lack of a recent dividend, how much Fox is paying to buy Sky and, in one case, the broadcaster allegedly showing too few Bristol City matches. Later, when questioned on whether the UK government or regulators would rule against Fox taking full control of Sky because of a scandal last year where the late Roger Ailes was investigated for allegedly harassing a presenter, Mr Murdoch said: "On both sides 21st Century Fox and Sky are engaged constructively with the regulatory authorities and I'm confident we'll get to a conclusion by the middle of next year".

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