21st Century Fox (FOXA  ) last week announced that the Walt Disney Company (DIS  ) is prepared to buy Sky News in order to help bolster Fox's bid to acquire British satellite broadcaster Sky plc. Disney's offer to purchase Sky News comes as 21st Century Fox attempts to address the concerns of regulators in the U.K., who provisionally rejected its proposed acquisition of Sky in January.

Disney's offer to purchase Sky News is a part of 21st Century Fox's efforts to make its proposed acquisition of Sky more palatable to British regulators by separating Sky News from the influence of Fox and the Murdoch Family Trust. The U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had provisionally rejected the 21st Century Fox-Sky deal, on the grounds that the transaction would leave an excessive share of the nation's news outlets in the control of 21st Century Fox's founder and executive chairman Rupert Murdoch and the Murdoch family. Murdoch also controls News Corporation (NWSA  ), which owns the publisher of prominent British newspapers The Times, The Sunday Times, and The Sun.

Committed to adding the British broadcaster to his global media empire, Murdoch is now facing a challenger for Sky from major competitor Comcast (CMCSA  ). Comcast, which owns NBC and Universal Pictures, submitted a rival bid of $31 billion for the company late this February.

Disney has a substantial interest in the proposed 21st Century Fox-Sky deal. In December 2017, the company announced its plans to acquire 21st Century Fox, in a $52.4 billion deal projected to be finalized in the next year. Disney will take over 21st Century Fox's film and television studios, cable entertainment networks, and international TV businesses. The last category includes Fox's 39% stake in Sky, which Comcast is pursuing as part of its bid to acquire Sky. Disney's CEO Robert A. Iger has also expressed sharp interest in Sky, describing the British media giant as a "crown jewel."

Disney's new proposed purchase of Sky News will be conducted separately from its proposed acquisition of Fox.

A sell-off of Sky News is one of two options for "[safeguarding] the independence of Sky News" proposed by 21st Century Fox in a filing with the CMA, released last Tuesday. The company's other proposed remedy would see Sky News legally separated from the rest of Sky and led by an independent board. Under the "ring-fencing" proposal, Sky News would operate as a distinct, independent company within Sky plc, with funding guaranteed for 15 years.

In its response to Fox's proposed solutions, Sky backed the American media company, saying, "Sky believes that both of these remedy proposals comprehensively address any plurality concerns the CMA may have, and would guarantee the long-term future of Sky News and its ongoing editorial independence."

The CMA is set to present its final report to Britain's Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, Matt Hancock, by May 1, 2018. The Culture Secretary has promised to issue a decision on the transaction by June 14, 2018.