Television mogul Rupert Murdoch is closer to securing the European cable company Sky as long as he agrees to sell the news channel Sky News, according to a decision by the British government Monday.
Murdoch must sell Sky News in order to acquire Sky because the U.K.-based news organization wants to remain editorially independent. U.K. Culture Secretary Matt Hancock proposed that Disney purchase Sky News and dedicate the next 10 years to running the news channel, BuzzFeed News reported.
Disney most recently purchased the entertainment side of 21st Century Fox, leaving Fox News, Fox Business, and Fox Sports under a new company, “New Fox,” that is controlled by Murdoch’s son Lachlan Murdoch. (RELATED: Lachlan Murdoch To Be New Chairman And CEO Of New Fox)
The battle over acquiring Sky, whose other major contender is Comcast, began in December 2016 when Murdoch put in a bid, but has been stalled because of regulators and politicians fear that Murdoch will have too much influence over the news cycle if he controlled Sky News as well. Murdoch is the CEO of 21st Century Fox, which already owns 39 percent of Sky.
The U.K. Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will further correspond with Murdoch on the deal over the next two weeks. “We now look forward to engaging with DCMS and we are confident that we will reach a final decision clearing our transaction,” 21st Century Fox said in a statement.
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