Apr 3, 2018

Opening Quote: Disney’s magical solution for Murdoch Sky deal

Those with an interest in Rupert Murdoch, 21st Century Fox, Walt Disney, Sky News and Comcast will be a little clearer on the overall plan this morning, on news that Walt Disney has offered to buy Sky News from Sky plc. Regulators there have suggested they cannot recommend a Fox-Sky deal unless Fox can guarantee that it will not give Rupert Murdoch and his family influence over Sky News, according to those in the know. Mr Murdoch did a separate deal to sell all of his Fox entertainment assets - including its 39 per cent Sky stake - to Disney for $66bn. Fox is now trying to get on with its Sky deal by proposing to separate Sky News from Sky and establishing it as an independent company with its own independent board, and with funding announced this morning for 15 years - five more than it offered two months ago. If this is not enough, then Disney's commitment to buy Sky News may be more convincing to doubters at Westminster and the CMA. "To secure CMA approval Fox has proposed to the CMA that it would divest Sky News to Disney as a condition of Fox's acquisition of the remainder of Sky," Disney said in a statement.

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