United Kingdom government greenlights Fox's Sky buy-out bid if it drops Sky News

United Kingdom government greenlights Fox's Sky buy-out bid if it drops Sky News

United Kingdom government greenlights Fox's Sky buy-out bid if it drops Sky News

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox wants to buy the 61 per cent of Sky that it does not already own in an £18.5 billion deal.

Culture secretary Matt Hancock, who has been reviewing the deal on the grounds of media plurality and broadcasting standards, told MPs today he agreed with the CMA's report that the Murdoch family would have too much influence over the United Kingdom news agenda should the deal go ahead as initially suggested.

Matt Hancock, the Culture secretary, has commented that the bid of Fox for a further consultation, but has also cleared Comcast's rival bid to take over Sky.

Ever since 2016, Fox has been chasing for approval from United Kingdom regulators to buy the 61% of Sky which it does not already own.

In a statement, a Fox spokesman said the company has already taken steps to sell Sky News to Disney. The stock rose 0.3 percent to 13.54 pounds at 3:30 p.m.in London on Tuesday.

Fox previously put forward a remedy to this issue, telling regulators it would sell off Sky News to a third party, possibly Disney.

In respect of 21CF's proposed acquisition of Sky, Sky notes that the Secretary of State considers that the undertakings provided by 21CF have provided a good starting point to overcome the adverse public interest effects of the proposed merger that he has identified, and that DCMS Officials have now been instructed to seek to agree final undertakings with 21CF.

Fox is seeking to buy the stake for £11.4 billion but the long-running saga has been plagued by fears over media plurality and broadcasting standards - and the influence of Australian-born USA citizen Murdoch.

Comcast has offered to pay £12.50 ($16.70) per share for Sky, topping Fox's bid of £10.75 ($14.40).

Disney said it welcomes the United Kingdom decision.

However, he also warned that - should a Sky News sale not be attainable - then his "only effective remedy would be to block the merger altogether".

In a statement responding to the announcement, the satellite broadcaster said: "The Independent Directors of Sky are mindful of their fiduciary duties and remain focused on maximising value for Sky shareholders".

Hancock's decision came after an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into whether controlling Sky would give Murdoch, who also owns the Times and Sun newspapers, too much influence on Britain's news media.

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