Apr 3, 2018

Murdoch’s gladhanding of Disney in the Sky arm-wrestle

Because, by Tuesday morning, Mr Iger was offering to buy Sky News, just to help Mr Murdoch win an arm wrestle with UK regulators over his bid to buy the rest of Sky plc - and let him sell the TV group on, with other entertainment assets, to Disney. In January, the Competition and Markets Authority concluded that there were only three options: block the deal; agree a behavioural remedy to insulate Sky News from Murdoch influence; or secure a structural remedy to ringfence or sell the Sky News unit. Now Mr Iger has provided the third of those: new ownership for Sky News, regardless of whether Disney can later buy Fox. With US rival Comcast suggesting it could offer 16 per cent more for Sky, shareholders can expect a higher offer from Fox - with the agreement of Disney. He bid for Sky in December 2016 but chose not to offer the Sky News remedy until now - a month before the final CMA recommendation.

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