United Kingdom probe into Fox-Sky deal to assess Murdoch influence

UK Regulator Details Key Issues for Review of Fox's Sky Bid

Later on Thursday, shareholders voted in favour of the re-election of Murdoch´s son James as chairman.

Murdoch said at the Sky annual meeting that the companies were "engaged constructively with the regulatory authorities" about the deal.

Mr Murdoch survived the scare, which came from shareholders concerned about a potential conflict of interest as 21st Century Fox continues to pursue a deal for the piece of Sky it does not already own.

Fox, which now owns 39.1% of Sky, is trying to buy full control of the business in a deal that would value the parent of Sky News at £18.5bn.

Almost 22% of all shareholders, and more than 48% of independent ones, opposed Murdoch being allowed to continue in the post.

There was a larger vote, however, against Sky's remuneration report. The vote is non-binding. The majority of the other resolutions passed with over 90% support.

"The board notes the significant vote against resolution 3, the director's remuneration report and resolution 12, the re-election of James Murdoch, and will continue to engage with shareholders to understand their views as part of its ongoing programme of engagement".

A report released by Ofcom in June warned that the Murdoch family, which is behind the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times newspapers, would have "increased influence" over British media should the Fox-Sky deal go through.

The shareholder, Hugh Lawson, said: "I think the board lacks independence". In late 2014, after BSkyB acquired Fox's Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland, the bigger company changed its name to Sky.

"I am not going to comment on the Twenty-First Century Fox issues because this is the AGM of Sky, but I am pretty confident that it will not have an effect on the CMA's investigation", he said.

The committee includes Mr Gilbert, Jeremy Darroch, Sky's chief executive and Andrew Griffith, Sky's chief operating officer.

Today's update comes as Sky awaits a decision from the competition watchdog on a proposed takeover by 21st Century Fox.

"Are you confident that the CMA won't unearth new Fox scandals which derail the bid?", Alaphia Zoyab from activist group Avaaz asked. The pay package handed to Sky's chief executive, Jeremy Darroch, quadrupled to more than £16m in the year to the end of June, despite a hefty fall in annual profits at the broadcaster's United Kingdom and Ireland business.

He said the company was seeing good demand for its flagship Sky Q product as well as for its streaming service Now TV.

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