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Fox vows to keep Sky News running for 10 years under renewed takeover offer

Fox is now willing to keep running Sky News for at least 10 years under a sweetened offer to secure full control of Sky
Rupert Murdoch
Fox has promised to shield Sky News against any Murdoch influence

21st Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOXA) has improved its offer of concessions to gain regulatory clearance for its £11.7bn takeover of Sky PLC (LON:SKY).

Fox, owned by Rupert Murdoch, is now willing to keep running Sky News for at least 10 years, double the amount it previously promised the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The CMA last month said the takeover bid raised media plurality concerns because it would give the Murdoch family too much power over the UK media.

READ: Murdoch's Sky bid against public interest, competition authority rules provisionally

Fox’s sweetened offer brings it closer in line with a 10-year funding commitment made in 2011 in a failed attempt to buy the 61% of Sky that it does not already own.

But the deal is weaker than in 2011 because Fox said Sky News would be guaranteed funding at the current level for five years and then at least five more years of money “at a level to be determined at the time”.

Fox has also strengthened its offer to shield Sky News against any Murdoch influence.

It had already said it will create an independent board for Sky News but the new offer promises to give annual updates on editorial independence.

The revised offer also gives the board the right to nominate a candidate for head of Sky News when the time comes to replace the incumbent John Ryley.

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