Independent trust could run Sky News to ease News Corp takeover

Steve Dinneen
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News Corp could set up an independent body to run Sky News in a bid to smooth the way for its £7.8bn Sky bid.

Critics of the bid say media plurality would be harmed if Rupert Murdoch’s firm snaps up the 61 per cent of Sky it does not already own. Culture and media secretary Jeremy Hunt will decide in the coming weeks whether a full Competition Commission probe should be launched.

One way of paving the way for a deal could be for News Corp to set up an independent body to run Sky News. City A.M. understands no official contact has been made with Hunt but that senior figures at News Corp are privately considering such a concession in order to secure the acquisition.

It is also understood News Corp has objected to several findings in the Ofcom report into the bid, namely that it could pose a threat to media plurality. News Corp declined to comment.

Media analyst Claire Enders said it is doubtful News Corp would offer concessions at this stage. She said: “Unless it is absolutely demanded, it makes no sense for News Corp to offer up Sky News. It would also be unprecedented for a minister to make a deal at this stage.”