Comcast Considers Reviving Pursuit of Fox After Higher Bid Was Rejected

Century Fox logo is seen outside the News Corporation headquarters in Manhattan New York U.S

Fox has been trying to buy the 61 per cent stake of Sky, but the watchdog blocked the deal saying it was not in the public interest on grounds of media plurality.

Comcast made an offer past year for 21 Century Fox that was significantly higher than Disney's successful bid, and may make a fresh move to acquire the company, or its European pay TV arm Sky, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Fox's proposal for a fully-independent board for the United Kingdom news channel goes a step beyond an earlier pledge to create a board with a majority of independent directors.

The agency last month acknowledged that Walt Disney Co.'s $52.4 billion bid for most of Fox could eliminate concerns about Murdoch's control of the company, but said it was moving forward with its review because there is no guarantee the Disney takeover will be completed.

The company has also pledged that no employee will attempt to influence the editorial choices made by the head of Sky News, including the running order of stories and political comment.

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The board will be made up of independent members with United Kingdom media experience and oversee any changes to the Sky News editorial guidelines, which Fox said had been amended to offer further safeguards giving the head of Sky News "complete control over editorial matters" and editorial staff. It is not known whether Disney would commit to retaining the loss-making news channel if its acquisition of Fox goes through, however.

Sky added, however, that it viewed the Fox proposals as "an effective and comprehensive solution to any potential concerns", and the plans would be "straightforward to implement and monitor".

Even before the Sky bid, liberal politicians claimed Murdoch had too much influence over public debate, with his papers often supporting conservative causes.

Disney's proposed takeover, which still has to be approved by United States regulators, includes Fox's current 39% stake in Sky.

Fox's previous play for the pan-European pay-TV service foundered in 2011 amid the phone-hacking scandal engulfing Murdoch's British newspapers.

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