Nov 7, 2017
Sky threatens to close Sky News if Fox deal blocked
Sky has threatened to close down Sky News if its ownership of the channel becomes a regulatory impediment to the proposed £11.7bn takeover of the European pay-television operator by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox. Sky warned in a submission to the UK's Competition Markets Authority, which is scrutinising the deal, that the continued operation of Sky News should not be assumed in light of concerns that the Fox takeover could harm media plurality in the UK. Sky said it would be "Review [its] position" in the event that the "Continued provision of Sky News" impeded the Fox deal or "Other corporate opportunities". Its submission comes amid intensifying questions about the Murdoch family's ability to close the deal and revelations that the family has held deal talks with Walt Disney regarding a sale of most of Fox's assets - including its 39 per cent stake in Sky. Shares in Sky closed at £9.30 on Tuesday, a discount of almost 19 per cent to the £10.75 price per share that Fox agreed to pay in December 2016. Fox's pending takeover of Sky complicates any potential deal discussions with Disney that would include its stake in Sky, which has grown into a leading pay-TV operator across Europe since it was founded by Mr Murdoch in 1989.
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