The Walt Disney Company could soon be the proud owners of Sky News

Hanna Flint
Disney may end up owning Sky News
Disney may end up owning Sky News

Disney could soon be the owner of Sky News as well as 21st Century Fox.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned studio has been struggling for years to acquire the remaining 61% of the British pay-TV service, for $15 billion (£11.7 billion) and have come up with two proposals to remedy this.

The plan is to turn Sky News into a separate legal entity from the larger company to please the Competition and Markets Authority, that are concerned about Murdoch’s increasing influence over the media and whether the deal would be in the public interest.

The first offer would see Sky News bought by The Walt Disney Company after the completion of 21st Century Fox’s acquisition of Sky, even if Disney’s deal to purchase Fox doesn’t go through. This would mean the company would fund the news outlet for a decade at its current levels.

The second offer would see it continue to be owned by Sky but the creation of an independent board to govern Sky News would be guaranteed, as well as its editorial independence along with funding for 15 years.

Fox is owned by Rupert Murdoch (REUTERS/David Moir/File Photo)
Fox is owned by Rupert Murdoch (REUTERS/David Moir/File Photo)

21st Century Fox was formed in 2013 to separate the media and entertainment properties from its umbrella company News Corporation.

“We have worked diligently with the CMA throughout its extensive review,” a 21st Century Fox spokesperson said. “In fact, we believe that the enhanced firewall remedies we proposed to safeguard the editorial independence of Sky News addressed comprehensively and constructively the CMA’s provisional concerns.

“These enhanced remedies went above and beyond what Ofcom, the expert, independent regulator on UK broadcasting, had stated would mitigate concerns around media plurality.”

Back in December, Disney agreed a deal to buy 21st Century Fox, including the film portfolio of 20th Century Fox and its 39% stake in Sky, for $52.4 billion.

This means the rights to the X-Men franchise would transfer to Disney and allow for Marvel Studios to reboot several franchises or finance new superhero movies too.

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