Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox now owns 39 per cent of Sky.
Earlier this month, 21st Century Fox said the Walt Disney Company is interested in buying United Kingdom -based Sky News regardless of whether its $52.4 billion deal for certain Fox assets goes through.
The Panel's ruling will not stand if Fox has already acquired 100 per cent of Sky by the time Disney buys the Fox assets, or if Comcast Corp or any other third party has acquired a stake of more than 50 per cent in Sky.
The new regulatory requirement adds yet another wrinkle to an already complicated acquisition process that involves Disney, Fox, Sky and Comcast.
In a town hall meeting on the 20th Century Fox studio lot in Los Angeles, 21st Century Fox President Peter Rice spoke with employees about the planned acquisition of the company by the Walt Disney Company, according to Deadline.
"At this stage, Sky Shareholders are advised to take no further action".
The UK's Competition and Markets Authority is now reviewing Fox's bid for Sky and is due to report back to British culture secretary Matt Hancock by May 1, who will then have 30 days to decide whether or not to approve the deal. However, it ensures a guaranteed bidder for Sky in the event that British regulators don't sign off the Fox takeover. However, Fox has proposed remedies to allay the regulators' concerns.
Shares in Sky on Thursday were down 0.2% in London at 1,307.00 pence, or GBP13.07, each. Disney declined to comment. Comcast's approach would see Sky shareholder's receive £12.50 a share, a significant premium to Murdoch's offer. It made a submission to the United Kingdom takeover panel, the city watchdog for corporate deals, saying it did not wish to be forced to pursue a full takeover of Sky if Rupert Murdoch failed to take full control.
"All of us really believe it's going to end up in a bidding war", Odey said, speculating that offers may climb as high as 16 pounds a share. "And they've got quite a good prize".