Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch's company 21st Century Fox has offered to sell Sky News to Disney to allay fears among regulators about its plan to buy 61 per cent of Sky, according to a company statement on Tuesday.
Fox is facing several obstacles in its attempt to buy out Sky after regulators in the UK said that Fox's $16.4 billion (11.7 billion pounds) offer was not in the public interest, the BBC reported.
Murdoch has now proposed to separate Sky News from Sky with its own fully independent board and under the management control of the Head of Sky News, or sell it to Disney, according to a statement by 21st Century Fox.
Murdoch, who serves as the Executive Chairman of Sky, will not influence or attempt to influence the editorial choices made by the Head of Sky News, the company said.
Disney announced in December 2017 its intention to acquire Fox, a move yet to be approved by regulators. The Murdoch family's news outlets are currently consumed by nearly a third of the UK's population across TV, radio, online and newspapers.
Fox, which already owns 39.1 per cent of Sky, announced its takeover bid for Sky over a year ago, sparking a backlash in the UK, where lobby groups warned that the deal could threaten media plurality.
The Competition and Markets Authority noted in a preliminary report that Fox's proposed acquisition of Sky "was against the public interest as it would give the Fox empire too much influence in the British media".
Murdoch already holds significant influence in the UK through News Corp, which publishes widely-read newspapers, including The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun, as well as the sports radio station talkSPORT.
By acquiring the Sky group, the Australian media magnate would also gain control of pay-TV broadcasters in the UK, Germany and Italy.