The following is an excerpt from Joe Mayes | April 3, 2018 | Bloomberg.com |
Walt Disney Co. offered to buy Sky News to help Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc. win over U.K. regulators reviewing Fox’s 11.7 billion-pound ($16.5 billion) acquisition of broadcaster Sky Plc.
Disney is interested in acquiring Sky News regardless of whether its larger $52.4 billion takeover of most of Fox goes through, guaranteeing the editorial independence of the operation, Fox said in a submission to the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority. Alternatively, New York-based Fox could set up Sky News as a separate company with independent governance to ensure its journalistic integrity, the filing shows.
Fox is bolstering efforts to secure the Sky takeover after Comcast Corp. in February made a competing offer for the U.K. pay-TV company. Acquiring the 61 percent of Sky that Fox doesn’t own is part of Murdoch’s broader plan to sell Fox’s media businesses to Disney. He’s already been foiled once in his effort to buy the stake: He dropped a 7.8-billion-pound Sky bid in 2011 after a phone-hacking scandal at Murdoch’s newspapers sparked a political backlash.
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