Disney’s expected takeover of large parts of the Fox media empire could make Fox’s prospective purchase of Sky News in the UK more likely, experts have claimed.
The proposed 21st Century Fox £11.7 billion takeovers of Sky News, the UK’s third largest news broadcaster, was referred to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in September by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport.
However, much of the opposition to the takeover has focused on Rupert Murdoch and his growing control of the UK’s media, his “suitability” to run a news broadcaster, and the potential for him to move Sky in a politically right-wing direction.
With Disney in control, and Mr. Murdoch sidelined, opposition from regulators, politicians, and some parts of the public could fall, media analysts told BuzzFeed.
Media analyst Alice Enders told the website: “It’s severing the critical link between News Corp, the Murdoch family trust, Fox, and Sky.
“The combination of what people were talking about where News Corp is the de facto owner of Sky News, that combination would fall to the wayside. It’ll be much harder to oppose.”
Last month, UKIP warned of “private monopolies” in British media becoming like “state monopolies” such as the BBC in relation to Fox’s prospective takeover of Sky.
UKIP warns of Murdoch media monopoly https://t.co/ksqxt1yknL
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 1, 2017
Mathew Horsman, a media consultant and author of Sky High: The Rise and Rise of BSkyB, also said one of the biggest issues with the deal was the idea of monopolies and Mr. Murdoch having too much influence in the UK media.
“It was always the Murdoch-element and the issue of the Murdoch family trust having controlling influence over the newspapers. That wouldn’t be an issue with Disney,” he said.
However, for left wing and liberal critics of the takeover, Mr. Murdoch’s perceived right-wing views and accusations of mismanagement at Fox are the problem – which could also be reduced with Disney in charge.
Labour Deputy Leader and longtime Murdoch critic Tom Watson commented: “It’s important for Disney, a highly respected global media brand, that they do not allow the toxic corporate culture we have seen in the Murdoch empire to contaminate their business and tarnish their reputation.”