21st Century Fox in bid to buy Sky

Sky may be fully acquired by 21st Century Fox, which has made a £11.7 billion bid for the company. Sky’s accepted, but regulators will need to approve the deal - and not everyone’s enthused about the idea of multimedia mogul Rupert Murdoch getting majority control.

Currently, 21st Century Fox owns 39% of Sky, but it wants the whole shebang. Sky shareholders would receive £10.75 for every share they own, which values the whole company at £18.5 billion.

There is a potential roadblock for the deal though - if approved, Rupert Murdoch, who already owns the Sun and the Times, will have an unprecedented amount of control over the media in the UK. That raises questions over whether the deal is in the public interest - the culture secretary Karen Bradley has to make the decision on that soon.

Labour stands firmly against it. Tom Watson, the shadow culture secretary, said that the case should be referred to the telecoms regulator Ofcom.

He said: "When she stood on the steps of Downing Street this summer, the prime minister said to the people of this country that 'when we take the big calls, we'll think not of the powerful, but you'. This is a big call. The government needs to decide whose side it's on."

Gordon Brown has also weighed in, saying that the deal should be delayed until the government has carried out the next part of the Leveson Inquiry - its investigation into press malpractice.

Shareholders have also asked for more transparency about the deal. Some have also accused Sky of selling for less than the company's worth - the sale price is the same as it was six months ago. Richard Marwood, a senior fund manager at Royal London Asset Management, which owns a stake in Sky, calls for more information:

He said: "Such disclosure would help shareholders assess the fairness of the offer and give greater confidence in the independence of the committee in the bid process."

It's a deal that's packing its fair share on controversy then. Karen Bradley has around 10 days to look at the arguments for and against and make a ruling.

Source: BBC News

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