UK signals it will clear Fox’s Sky bid with conditions

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox will be allowed to buy the 61% of U.K. satellite broadcaster Sky it doesn't already own, provided it divests itself of Sky News.

Britain's culture secretary Matt Hancock, in a statement, indicated he will greenlight the $16.4 billion bid. He said he would also clear the way for Comcast's rival bid for Sky – valued around $30.7 billion – setting the stage for a bidding war.

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CMCSA COMCAST CORP. 38.54 -0.14 -0.36%

The developments are a win for Murdoch who was met with resistance from U.K. regulators over the Sky deal. It is also key for Disney, which is paying $52.4 billion for 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets. The remaining assets will form the “new Fox,” which Murdoch announced on FOX Business in December. 

“There’s only must-see Fox News and must-see FOX Business,” said Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox during an interview on FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria.” “The new Fox will have Fox News, FOX Business, Fox Broadcasting, Fox Sports, but the point is it will have a cash flow of at least $2 billion a year,” he explained, adding that he can use that money to build another business. “We can see expanding that and taking other opportunities and building another great company.”

The new company will be led by Chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch, while Rupert will serve as co-chairman.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.