Sky has said it will review the future of Sky News if 21st Century Fox’s £11.7bn bid to take full control of the broadcaster is blocked on the grounds of media plurality.
Fox’s bid for Sky is currently being investigated by the Competition Markets Authority with particular reference to the Murdochs’ commitment to broadcasting standards, and the deal’s impact on media plurality.
The CMA has said in its issues statement that if the deal is blocked its assumption is that Sky News will continue to compete against rival news organisations including the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.
Sky responded to the statement, which set out the scope of the CMA’s six-month investigation, by saying: “The CMA should not 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,” Sky said in a five-page submission to the CMA published on Tuesday.
There are also reports recently that Fox and the Murdochs may have lost interest in taking full control over Sky, with rumours of a Disney takeover of Fox.