Disney makes move on Sky News to boost Fox bid

Disney makes move on Sky News to boost Fox bid
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Walt Disney Co. has offered to buy U.K. media outlet Sky News in an effort to assist 21st Century Fox’s bid to acquire the European broadcast giant, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday.

U.K. regulators have expressed concerns that if Fox acquires Sky News, Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch will own several of the country’s largest media outlets. Fox currently owns more than a third of Sky’s shares and has bid $16.5 billion for the remaining stake in the company.

Disney, which acquired most of Fox’s television and film production assets for more than $50 billion in a deal late last year, is joining in on the bidding. 

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Fox told U.K. regulators that Disney is interested in acquiring Sky News regardless of its pending merger with Fox, which executives hope ease concerns over Murdoch’s potential British media monopoly.

Bloomberg reported that Fox has also attempted to ease those concerns by offering to set up Sky News as a separate company to ensure its journalistic independence. Fox had previously proposed giving Sky News its own editorial board and a 10-year funding guarantee.

Comcast got in on the bidding war for Sky News earlier this year, bidding $31 billion to acquire the broadcaster.

Sky features popular programming such as English Premier League soccer.