Murdoch renews pledge of 5 years for Sky News

21st Century Fox Offers “Firewall Remedies” To Push Through Sky Deal

Comcast made an offer previous year for 21 Century Fox that was significantly higher than Disney's successful bid, and may make a fresh move to acquire the company, or its European pay TV arm Sky, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Ofcom has since said that a Fox-Sky merger was not in the public interest on grounds of media plurality.

Fox said its so-called "firewall remedies" would provide a commitment that "no employee or officer of 21st Century Fox, or a member of the 21st Century Fox board who is a trustee or beneficiary of the Murdoch Family Trust, will influence or attempt to influence the editorial choices made by the head of Sky News". In that case, the concessions offered by Fox to safeguard Sky News would fall away, as the Murdoch family would not be in control of Sky's new parent company, Disney.

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.

The Competition and Markets Authority said in its provisional findings last month that Murdoch's bid raised media plurality concerns because the deal would give his family too much control over United Kingdom news media. News Corp., which is controlled by the Murdochs, withdrew its bid for Sky soon after.

Comcast may try to put the brakes on the Walt Disney Co. and 21 Century Fox deal by reviving its own bid for Fox's assets.

Disney's plans to purchase 21st Century Fox may have some competition.

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

The National Union of Journalists also called for the takeover of Sky to be blocked in a response to the CMA published on Monday.

Opponents of the deal have continued to argue for the deal's prohibition, including in a joint submission made by politicians including Sir Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader, and Ed Miliband, the former Labour leader.

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