FT: News Corp nears regulator agreement on Sky
Published: 10.00 UTC, February 25, 2011 by Julian Clover
News Corp is close to an agreement with regulators that would address concerns over its purchase of BSkyB.
According to the Financial Times an agreement could come as soon as next week with the possibility of News Corp taking a back seat in the running of Sky News still on the table. Meetings have been taking place with officials from the Office of Fair Trading to reassure Ofcom that a BSkyB wholly owned by News Corp would not reduce media diversity in the UK.
The FT quotes sources that suggest any actions are likely to be “structural” rather than “behavioural”. This implies that while Sky News might remain in the News Corp family, a share in the channel might be sold, and operational control passed to a third party.
If the proposals are accepted by culture secretary Jeremy Hunt they would then be put out for a 15-day consultation period.
News Corp has tabled a £7.8 billion (€9.41 billion) offer for the 60% of BSkyB the media giant does not already own, which was initially rejected by the BSkyB board There are fears at the company that if there is not a swift resolution to the regulatory process then the ultimate price might rise significantly