Murdochs promise not to interfere with Sky News

21st Century Fox (21CF) has offered to strengthen guarantees of Sky News' independence in an attempt to win regulators' backing for its takeover of Sky plc, the UK's biggest pay-television broadcaster.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) provisionally found that if the deal went ahead as planned, it would give the Murdoch family too much control over news providers in the UK.

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.

Sky meanwhile commented that the remedies proposed by Fox "would be an effective and comprehensive solution to any potential concerns arising from the Transaction", and that the plans were "straightforward to implement and monitor".

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Fox also pledged to keep funding Sky-branded news services for at least five years.

This comes as Fox has spent over a year attempting to buy the 61% in Sky, which is controlled by the Murdoch Family Trust, which also controls News Corporation, the publisher of British newspapers including The Sun and The Times, that it does not now own.

The provisional CMA report raised concerns about the influence of the Murdoch family trust, which controls Fox and News Corp, over the United Kingdom media landscape.

Last year Rupert Murdoch's firm announced plans to takeover the remaining stake of Sky, however, the United Kingdom government referred the proposed deal to the competition authorities to review.

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The picture has been complicated by the announcement in December that Disney had agreed to buy most of Fox's business, so may end up owning Sky.

The CMA will make its final decision about the Sky takeover, with a report submitted to Matthew Hancock, the Secretary of State, by May 1.

The response came after the CMA recently ruled that if Fox's takeover of Sky "went ahead, as now proposed, it is likely to operate against the public interest", and set out a series of potential options, including insulating Sky News from Murdoch Family Trust.

Fox and Sky after the CMA report didn't immediately discuss their openness to possible remedies, but analysts widely expected them to propose a new governance setup for Sky News.

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