February 20, 2018 / 10:26 AM / 25 days ago

Murdoch's Fox extends Sky News guarantee to secure bid approval

LONDON, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox has strengthened its offer to protect the independence of Sky’s loss-making news channel in a bid to overcome regulatory concerns about the takeover of the parent company.

Britain’s competition regulator has said that Fox’s $15.7 billion deal to buy the 61 percent of Sky it does not already own should be blocked unless a way was found to reduce the influence Murdoch could wield through the ownership of Sky News.

On Tuesday Fox pledged to maintain and fund a fully independent Sky-branded news service for 10 years, five years longer than it proposed last week when it set out the concessions it was willing to take to secure the deal. (Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Paul Sandle)

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