Fox commits to Sky News independence to try to secure Sky deal

21st Century Fox proposed Sky takeover faces a setback

21st Century Fox proposed Sky takeover faces a setback

Nonetheless it said its proposed remedies, based on putting a "firewall" around the 24-hour news channel, went to the heart of addressing the Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA) concerns. The CMA has said it will seek the least costly remedy that it considers will be effective. Any appointment to the Sky News editorial board by Fox's Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee would have to be approved by the U.K. Culture Minister or by U.K. regulators.

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox has vowed to preserve the editorial independence of Sky News in order to secure its takeover of pan-European TV giant Sky, documents showed Monday.

Fox also offered up a "commitment that no employee or officer" of Fox, or a Fox board member linked to the Murdoch family trust, "will influence or attempt to influence the editorial choices made by the head of Sky News", who would be appointed by the independent board.

It also highlighted that the concessions would "cease to have effect in the event of certain changes of circumstances, which would result in the potential media plurality concerns identified in the provisional findings falling away".

Fox's proposals call for an independent board to have "sole responsibility for setting editorial strategy and direction for Sky News' digital, television and radio output".

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WSJ says it did not receive a response from either Fox or Disney and that Comcast may not really make a definitive offer to acquire the mouse house catch finally.

The CMA recommended three options: protecting Sky News from Fox's influence, spinning off or divesting Sky News outright, or blocking the deal. Because of this, the proposed "firewall" between Fox and Sky News should end once the merger is completed, Fox said.

Opponents of the deal have continued to argue for the deal's prohibition, including in a joint submission made by politicians including Sir Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader, and Ed Miliband, the former Labour leader.

In 2011, when the Murdoch family last moved to take full ownership of Sky, an independent board was promised as part of a spin-off that would have seen Sky News gain a separate stock market listing, with the Murdochs maintaining a controlling minority stake. In particular, we suggest that the CMA should not go down the same path that has failed before: "undertakings given and broken, by the Murdochs".

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