21st Century Fox offers concession to seal Sky takeover

21st Century Fox offers concession to seal Sky takeover

21st Century Fox offers concession to seal Sky takeover

Britain's top competition regulator, which had ruled last month that the Sky takeover was not in the public interest, revealed the Fox pledge in submissions published online.

In related news, Fox has pledged to keep its United Kingdom channel Sky News independent and continue funding the loss-making business for five years as it seeks to reassure regulators over its proposed US$15.7bn takeover of European pay TV firm Sky.

Opponents of the deal also contend that the Murdochs and Fox, in light of sexual and racial harassment scandals at Fox News in the US, would not be suitable owners of Sky, though this argument has been rejected by regulators.

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Fox's latest proposal to preserve the editorial independence of Sky News, the UK's fourth-most-watched news source, goes further than an earlier set of concessions made by the United States media and entertainment giant.

Fox's proposals regarding Sky News were made in response to the list of possible remedies, and were released by the CMA.

Speaking to analysts last week after Disney reported generally positive first fiscal quarter results, which saw the company take a US$1.6 billion benefit from U.S. tax reform, CEO Bob Iger said that the Fox acquisition would deliver "more content and the production capabilities and talent to produce even more" as well as enhancing its direct-to-consumer presence and enabling geographic diversification of the business.

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Fox said the remedies outlined by the group would cease to exist once the Disney takeover is sealed.

Sky is 39%-owned by 21CF, controlled by the Murdoch Family Trust - which also controls News Corporation, the publisher of British newspapers including The Sun and The Times.

The competition regulator is due to present its final report to Culture Secretary Matt Hancock by 1 May, and he has said he will make a decision on the deal by 14 June.

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The deal with Disney includes 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox 2000, 20th Century Fox Television, FX Productions, Fox21, FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India and Fox's interests in Hulu, Sky, and Endemol Shine Group.

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