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EU: Fox to ask Brussel’s approval of $14.4 billion Sky bid

 |  March 1, 2017

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox will ask Brussels to approve its $14.4bn bid to take full control of Sky as early as this week, marking the next step in the politically contentious battle for the UK-based pay-television broadcaster.

Fox currently owns around 39.1 percent of Sky’s shares, and it announced its intention to acquire the remainder in December 2016.

Under EU rules, companies have to apply to the European Commission for approval of mergers and acquisitions above certain turnover thresholds. Once 21st Century Fox has submitted its intent to take over Sky, the Commission then has 25 days to decide whether the deal would “significantly reduce competition.”

The UK culture secretary Karen Bradley will also have to decide whether Fox’s bid for Sky should be subject to a public interest test. If she decides that it should, UK communications regulator Ofcom would have to assess whether the deal should go through based on whether it allows for enough media plurality. When Bradley was asked about whether she would refer the bid to Ofcom on the BBC’s Today radio program this morning, she said it was not possible for her to comment until she received formal notification of the bid.

This is the second time Murdoch has attempted to buy the remaining portion of Sky. In 2010, a bid for the company by News Corporation failed amid a scandal in which reporters from its UK newspaper News of the World hacked the voicemail of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, as well as celebrities.

Full Content: Reuters

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