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Mouse roar sows Murdoch confusion

THE ANNOUNCEMENT of a plan for the Disney Corporation to buy Sky TV has thrown confusion dust all over the Murdoch empire's earlier plan to buy the 61 per cent of Sky that it does not already own. The Press Gazette reports that the sale would include Sky News - though the clan would keep control of Fox News in the US. The Freelance awaits confirmation of this.

A spokesperson for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport was reported as saying: "While 21st Century Fox's existing plans to acquire Sky remain in place we expect the current investigation to continue."

The Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom has taken a leading role in the opposition to the Murdochs gaining outright control of Sky and Sky News, not least on the suspicion that they'd want to turn the news operation away from facts and into Fox. A key part of that is providing evidence to the investigation of the bid by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The CPBF issued a statement on 14 December saying:

Those who understand the Murdochs' malign influence on public life on both sides of the Atlantic, and all those like CPBF who have successfully campaigned against their Sky takeover, have cause to celebrate today.

The potential level of power the Murdochs could have had owning 100 per cent of Sky, including Sky News, plus all their newspapers including the Sun, The Times and the Wall Street Journal, will be seen by some as largely washed away by the announcement of today's deal with Disney.

However, it is very important to note that until the Disney deal gets shareholder and regulator go-ahead (which could take a year or more), the CMA must still act as if Murdoch is buying Sky.

Therefore it is as important as ever to continue to campaign to #StopMurdoch in the Sky takeover.

To that end the CPBF has launched an appeal for £20,000 step up the battle to stop the Murdochs buying up Sky TV, saying "It is a fight that can now be won, as their empire starts to shake."

Come back to this page for more observations on this soon.