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Sky takeover: Minister seeks Sky News assurance


Comcast has been given the green light for its proposed takeover of Sky. But for 21st Century Fox's bid, full approval will follow after it's sold Sky News.

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock told Parliament that a takeover of the pay TV giant by Comcast would raise no public interest concerns and would be free to pursue the takeover.

But Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, who are also trying to take full control of Sky, taking over the stake in the Sky they don't already own, were told to provide further assurances over the future of Sky News. He warned that the independence of Sky News had to be maintained.

A proposal to divest Sky News to Disney or to an alternative provider with funding for at least 10 years was the "most proportionate and effective remedy to address these concerns", according to the minister.

Disney is itself in the running to takeover 21st Century Fox, which would remove many of the concerns surrounding the Murdoch's dominance over UK media, with the Murdoch family retaining only radio and press outlets in the UK.

Mr Hancock said that he wanted further reassurances from Fox over Sky News before he would give the green light.

Providing the assurance is met and Sky News is sold off, 21st Century Fox, Disney and Comcast would be free to battle it out over Sky.



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