Disney will be forced to acquire all of Sky if 21st Century Fox's takeover of the United Kingdom pay-TV broadcaster is not complete prior to the Mouse House's takeover of the rival Hollywood studio.
If the Competition and Markets Authority clears Murdoch's bid and Disney is in turn allowed to complete its Fox deal, then Sky will come under the full ownership of the theme parks-to-films conglomerate.
Fox's repeated sweetening of its takeover approach most recently saw Disney dragged into the first stage of Murdoch's masterplan with an offer to offload loss-making Sky News to the venerable cartoon giant. That offer however is below the GBP12.50 per share bid made by NBCUniversal owner Comcast Corp back in February for Sky, as well as Sky's current share price.
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However, the CMA has suggested remedies for Sky and Fox to address these issues. With the Disney-21st Century Fox deal prolonging Iger's indenture at Disney until 2021, Iger is devoting his attention to Disney and its potential endeavors.
The new regulatory requirement adds yet another wrinkle to an already complicated acquisition process that involves Disney, Fox, Sky and Comcast. The agreement was related to the disclosure of information for enabling Fox and Disney to assess and obtain antitrust approvals needed for the proposed acquisition of Fox by Disney including the indirect acquisition of Fox's interest in Sky. Disney can evade the bid in certain circumstances; one if Fox acquires 100 per cent of the ordinary shares of Sky or any other third-party acquires more than 50 per cent of the ordinary shares of Sky.
Sky said it noted the panel ruling and advised shareholders to take no further action at this time.