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Sky News closure risk

November 8, 2017

Sky is warning UK competition regulators that it could shut down Sky News if 21st Century Fox’s proposed takeover of the broadcaster is not approved.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is undertaking a six-month investigation into 21st Century Fox’s proposed takeover of Sky. Karen Bradley, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, referred the deal to the CMA on public interest grounds. The CMA is examining how the deal would impact media plurality and broadcasting standards in the UK.

In response to an Issues Statement published by the CMA on October 10th 2017, made in conjunction with Sky’s Initial Submission of October 4th 2017, Sky said: “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, such as the Transaction – in particular having regard to any views expressed by shareholders regarding the denial of such opportunities.”

Sky also suggested that the regulator place less weight on its evaluation of other 21st Century Fox properties that are not in the UK.


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