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etvfutures.com November 24, 2017


CMA outlines scope of Sky, Fox investigation

12 October 2017, 08:22 | Cesar Cruz

AM ET CMA Outlines Review of 21st Century Fox Sky Deal Will be looking at diversity of voices broadcast standards

AM ET CMA Outlines Review of 21st Century Fox  Sky Deal Will be looking at diversity of voices broadcast standards

Royal London, which has a 0.28% stake in Sky, resurfaced its concerns over the Fox-Sky deal ahead of the vote - saying the board's chairman should have no affiliation to either company.

Fox late past year struck a deal to take full control of Sky.

Nearly 22 percent of all shareholders opposed Mr Murdoch and 48.5 percent of independent shareholders.

On pay, Sky also suffered a bloody nose as 63.7% of independent investors voted against the company's remuneration report.

While just under 71% of investors voting did so in favour of the report, some 29% voted against approving the report. The majority of the other resolutions passed with over 90% support.

James Murdoch remains chairman of Sky despite a significant number of shareholders opposing his re-election. That is Rupert Murdoch, chairman of 21st Century Fox and any business or person he touches.

The shareholder, Hugh Lawson, said: "I think the board lacks independence".

In response to the question about the Fox News scandal, Darroch said the "whole board are incredibly supportive and behind Sky" and that it wanted to make a "broader contribution" to society.

Fox's bid to buy the 61% stake in Sky which it does not already own is now the subject of a Competition and Markets Authority investigation.

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Jeremy Darroch, chief executive, said: "Our investment on-screen to broaden our offering is delivering with viewing to Sky channels up 10pc year on year".

Ms White said Sky "currently has a very strong record of compliance on broadcasting" and insisted there was no reason why the company would not maintain a commitment to United Kingdom broadcasting standards following a takeover.

Gilbert's comment was a reference to allegations of sexual and racial harassment at Fox News.

He told shareholders he was "pretty confident" that this would not have an effect on the CMA's investigation.

Sky shares - 7% down in the year to date - were 0.5% up in early trading following the release of the results statement.

The FTSE 100 giant reported like-for-like revenue up 5pc in the three months to September 30, at £3.3bn.

Mr Darroch said it was a strong start to the new financial year: "Against the backdrop of pressure on consumer spending and lower spend on United Kingdom television advertising, we were particularly pleased with our own EBITDA growth of 15% in our established business".

The group said Game Of Thrones was its "most-watched series ever", while it also hailed home-grown series Riviera after it notched up 20 million downloads. The company launched new streaming services in Spain and Switzerland in the quarter.

21st Century Fox (21CF) has welcomed the publication by the CMA of the Issues Statement.



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