BSkyB deal now 'imminent' as Sky News sell-off predicted

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A decision from Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt approving News Corp’s £7.5bn bid to buy the 61 per cent of BSkyB it does not already own is now expected this morning.

The BBC is reporting that as part of a compromise deal News Corp will sell off most of Sky News  but continue to underwrite losses estimated at £20m a year for the next ten years.

According to BBC business editor Robert Peston Sky News will be floated on the stock market, with the majority of shares going to independent shareholders.

He says that under the new deal Sky News will have independent directors and a chairman who is independent of BSkyB.

An alliance of  media companies – including Associated Newspapers, Telegraph Group, Guardian Media Group and the BBC – have opposed the deal saying it would give News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch too much power.

A UK Stop Murdoch campaign has seen more than 50,000 people send a stock letter to the Government urging it not to approve the BSkyB deal.

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