European Union greenlights 21 Century Fox's Sky takeover - United Kingdom still deliberates

Violet Tucker
April 8, 2017

"As the commission's findings concern exclusively the competition aspects of the proposed transaction, today's clearance decision is without prejudice to the UK's ongoing media plurality review of the proposed transaction", it said.

Bradley has given Ofcom a 40-day timetable to investigate, and expects to receive its report by May 16.

The European Commission cleared Rupert Murdoch to take over pay-TV group Sky, leaving a British investigation into the impact on the country's media landscape as the only remaining hurdle for the $US14.5 billion deal. Analysts have highlighted that the European Union would have allowed News Corp., which later split into News Corp and Fox, to take full control of Sky in 2011.

The deal still faces regulatory scrutiny from Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority in the UK.

The European Commission has given its go-ahead to Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX -0.5%, FOXA -0.4%) to acquire the rest of Sky (SKYAY +0.4%), noting little overlap between the two.

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Murdoch-controlled Fox already owns 39 percent of Sky, a broadcasting and broadband company with operations throughout Europe, including Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy and the United Kingdom.

"Based on the results of its market investigation, the commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns".

Murdoch first tried to gain full control of Sky in 2011 but was forced to abandon the attempt as controversy raged over the hacking of the telephones of celebrities and crime victims by his tabloid the News of the World, which was subsequently shut down.

However, the company back then pulled its takeover offer amid the phone-hacking scandal.

Existing regulators in the UK, Germany and Austria would prevent Sky from shutting out its rivals.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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