Select Page

A late offer by Disney to purchase Sky News appears to have eliminated one of the last remaining obstacles to an £11.7bn takeover of Sky by Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.

Murdoch’s long-held ambition to wrest full control of the British broadcaster threatened to be derailed by concerns over media plurality amidst intense scrutiny from the Competition and Markets Authority.

Should Disney take Sky News out of the equation however then those concerns could be erased at a stroke, smoothing over a rocky road to the deals conclusion.

The complicated tryst would see Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox acquire the remaining 61% stake in Sky, adding the broadcaster to an established stable of news outlets operating as News UK, whose assets include The Times, The Sun and TalkSport.

Complicating matters is the fact that Disney is in the process of negotiating its own £47bn takeover of the majority of 21st Century Fox, including Sky should the deal be progressed.

In a statement Fox said: “The Walt Disney Company has expressed an interest in acquiring Sky News, with a view to adding it to Disney’s existing portfolio of television channels, whether or not Disney’s proposed acquisition of 21st Century Fox proceeds.”

Disney has been forced to intervene after its rival Comcast sought to throw a spanner in the works by mounting its own £22bn counter bid for Sky.

Fox has also pledged to fund Sky News for a minimum of 15 years, up from just five years last month, in a bid to convince regulators of its commitment to the station.