Sky Threatens To Close Sky News If It Stands In The Way Of $15B Fox Takeover

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Sky has threatened to close Sky News if it stands in the way of 21st Century Fox’s $15 billion takeover of the pay-TV operator.

The UK firm has warned UK regulators that it would review its future if the news channel impeded “corporate opportunities”.

In its submission to the Competition & Markets Authority, Sky noted: “The CMA should not in its assessment simply assume the ‘continued provision of Sky News’ and its current contribution to plurality, ‘absent the Transaction’. Sky would likely be prompted to review the position in the event that the continued provision of Sky News in its current form unduly impeded merger and/or other corporate opportunities available in relation to Sky’s broader business, such as the [Fox takeover], in particular having regard to any views expressed by shareholders regarding the denial of such opportunities.”

Sky News is the UK’s fourth most-watched news channel but the CMA is currently investigating the takeover on the grounds of media plurality. Earlier this year, Fox had offered to safeguard Sky News’ editorial independence of the channel and maintain current levels of investment for at least five years in order to avoid a full investigation by the CMA.

However, in September, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley referred the takeover bid to the regulator

The CMA is expected to publish provisional findings of its investigation in December ahead of a full decision by Bradley by 6 March 2018.

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