Rupert Murdoch has signalled he’s open to cede his battle to acquire the UK’s Sky News channel to Walt Disney, in an attempt to appease regulators as he seeks control of the wider Sky media group. Matthew Larotonda reports.
(REUTERS / SKY NEWS) – Fox’s battle to take over Europe’s biggest pay-TV group Sky may be inching closer to a conclusion.
On Tuesday (April 3) Fox honcho Rupert Murdoch publicly acknowledged that Sky’s news division could be spun off to his rival, the Walt Disney Company — and that Disney is open to the deal.
But he still wants control over the rest of Sky which runs everything from sports to drama.
Ceding Sky News is an attempt to appease UK regulators concerned that Murdoch would have an outsized control of British media otherwise.
He already owns the Sun and the Times newspapers there.
Reports of wrangling between Disney and Fox first circulated months ago. Murdoch’s bid has been in regulatory limbo for just as long.
Fox also says an alternative is to legally seperate Sky News from its parent.
It’s not yet clear whether either concession would be enough to satisfy British authorities, but shares in Sky did go up on the news.
Walt Disney’s aquisition would dovetail with its ownership of American outlet ABC News.
They’re also fighting a proposed bid from Comcast, which owns arch rival NBC.
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