The CMA just pushed back publication of its key findings on the Fox-Sky deal

Emma Haslett
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Sky has said it will shut down Sky News if it helps the merger. (Source: Getty)

The competition regulator has pushed back the date on which it is expected to publish provisional findings on plans by 21st Century Fox to buy the stake in Sky it does not already own.

In an update today, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) pushed its publication date for the findings back to mid-January, from the week beginning 18 December.

However, the rest of the investigation's timetable remained unaffected, with the CMA expected to deliver its final report to Karen Bradley, the minister for culture, media and sport, by March next year.

The CMA was asked to investigate the merger, under which 21st Century Fox would buy the 61 per cent of Sky it does not already own.

The news came as rumours swirled that James Murdoch, Sky's chairman, could become the new chief executive of Disney. The company is reported to be in talks to buy 21st Century Fox's film, TV production, cable network and international assets, which includes its stake in Sky.

If 21st Century Fox is given the go-ahead to buy the rest of Sky, it is thought Disney would be expected to follow through on the £11.7bn acquisition.

So far, though, the deal has made slow progress, after Bradley referred it to the CMA earlier this year.

After Bradley expressed concerns over diversity in the media sector back in July, Sky said last month that it will consider shutting down Sky News if that helps its cause.

Read more: Sky shares have risen as 21st Century Fox talks with Disney are back on

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