British regulators say Rupert Murdoch’s planned takeover of Sky is not in the public interest, but may allow it to go ahead with some modifications.

Mr Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox media group is trying to buy the 61 per cent of pan-European broadcaster Sky that it does not already own, for a price of close to $19 billion.

But Britain's Competition and Markets Authority says the proposed deal would go against the public interest in its current form - giving the Murdoch family too much control over news provision.

The competition regulator said it would be less concerned if Mr Murdoch was to spin off or divest Sky News, or otherwise insulate Sky News from Fox's influence.

The CMA can recommend the deal be blocked outright.

The UK Government has the final say on the takeover, but the regulator says its official judgement will not be handed over until May 1.

This could complicate separate plans for Disney to buy a large swathe of Mr Murdoch’s assets including Sky, as it had hoped Mr Murdoch would have full control of Sky ahead of the Disney’s takeover.