Sky News could face "review" if it blocks Fox merger

Fox already owns a 39.1% stake in Sky

Sky News could face "review" if it blocks Fox merger

File photo

British broadcaster Sky says its 24-hour news channel could be 'reviewed' if it blocks a proposed merger with Fox.

The proposed bid is currently being investigated by Britain's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The probe is thought to have particular focus on broadcasting standards and any impact the deal could have on media plurality in the UK.

Fox, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, already owns a 39.1% stake in Sky.

The CMA is likely to take several months to decide whether the takeover can go ahead.

In March, the British Secretary of State for Media Karen Bradley asked Ofcom - the media and telecoms regulator - to investigate whether the takeover was in the public interest.

Ofcom said there was no reason to think the deal was against the public interest on broadcasting standards grounds, but indicated it did have concerns on plurality of media ownership.

The CMA has said if the deal is blocked it assumes that Sky News will "remain as it is now", and continue to compete against rival organisations.

But in reply to that, Sky has said: "Sky would likely be prompted to review the position in the event that the continued provision of Sky News in its current form unduly impeded merger and/or other corporate opportunities available in relation to Sky's broader business".

Sky says this will have 'particular regard' to any views expressed by shareholders "regarding the denial of such opportunities".