According to the Financial Times, media tycoon, Rupert Murdoch's, News Corp has arrived at in principle understanding with UK regulators on a plan aimed at removing the final hurdles to its bid for full control of British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc. The newspaper cited unnamed people close to the negotiations.
Ministers are said to be interested in hiring external laywers to study the proposed plans that News Corp had proposed in a bid to avoid a full review by the Competition Commission.
The parties expect culture secretary Jeremy Hunt to announce a second one-week consultation process which could mean merger clearance may be put off until July.
It is understood that the an agreement has been reached on the final details on the spinning-off of Sky News from BSkyB, a remedy suggested to ease regulators' concerns over the impact of a deal on media plurality.
Preparations are on to secure an agreement on a series of broadcasting contracts and financial agreements that will form a spun-off company owning Sky News.
Last June, News Corp had offered a 700p bid for the 60.9-per cent of the business it did not already own which put a price tag of £7.8 billion on the deal.
BSkyB's share price has surged dramatically, leading to the expectation that News Corp would have to significantly increase its offer like at the time of purchase of Fox Entertainment Group in 2005, and Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal in mid-2007.