Murdoch’s Fox cleared by EU to buy Sky

Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox has secured unconditional EU competition approval for its £11.7bn (€14bn) takeover of pay-TV group Sky.

Murdoch’s Fox cleared by EU to buy Sky

The European Commission yesterday said the deal did not raise any competition concerns as the companies are active in different markets in Europe, while existing rules in EU countries meant that rivals would still have access to Sky films and TV channels.

British regulators are still examining whether the deal would result in Mr Murdoch controlling too much of Britain’s media, and whether Fox would be committed to upholding broadcasting standards.

Last month, the British government referred the takeover to UK regulators to decide if the deal is in the public interest. UK media secretary Karen Bradley told parliament, in March, that it was important to seek advice from the regulator Ofcom on whether the deal would give Mr Murdoch and his companies too much control of Britain’s media, and whether the new owner would be committed to broadcasting standards.

Twenty-First Century Fox already owns 39% of Sky. Mr Murdoch and his family have long coveted full control of Sky, despite the damaging failure of a previous attempt in 2011 when their British newspaper business became embroiled in a phone-hacking scandal.

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

She said Ofcom, as an independent regulator, would assess in the same timeframe whether Mr Murdoch’s company was a “fit and proper” holder of a broadcasting license.


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