Britain happy with Murdoch's Sky News guarantees

20 Junio, 2018, 02:42 | Author: Arnold Perez

Sky, including Sky News, is one of a number of entertainment assets that Fox agreed to sell to Disney for $52bn just before Christmas previous year.

Disney has offered British authorities a commitment to operate and fund Sky News for 15 years and to refrain from selling it without the United Kingdom government's permission if Disney takes ownership of pan-European paybox Sky through various mergers and transactions.

The news broadcaster would also see a boost in total funds to at least £100 million per year - with operating costs protected in real terms.

The Fox board - which includes 87-year-old media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his sons Lachlan and James - has already agreed to sell the Fox portfolio to the Walt Disney Co. for $52.4 billion in Disney stock.

Disney will also be restricted from selling Sky News for 15 years without the agreement of the Culture Secretary and, in addition, gave a formal commitment to preserve the editorial independence of Sky News.

Hancock said the revised undertakings would help to ensure that Sky News remains financially viable over the long term, free from any potential outside influence.

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Hancock will now consult formally with all parties for 15 days and views are sought by 5pm on Wednesday 4 July 2018.

A separate report offered an alternative outcome in that Disney and Comcast may actually split the Fox Studios assets, as Disney would get all the movie related assets, with Comcast getting the Sky network.

In the meantime, Comcast has emerged as a rival buyer for Sky, tabling a £22.1bn takeover bid.

It said at the beginning of April that it would continue funding Sky News for five years at the present level and for a further five years at a level "not materially different" from now.

Wieser writes: "if Disney has to pay a higher price for the Fox Entertainment assets because it engages in a bidding war with Comcast, [then] Disney's value would be negatively impacted as it would reduce the incremental value the company should be able to generate from synergies associated with the acquisition".

The list of improved remedies comes two weeks after Mr Hancock initially said he favoured "divesting Sky News to a suitable third party" in order to address the media plurality concerns raised by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

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