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Murdoch's Fox gets EU approval to take over Sky in $14.5-bn deal

British investigation into the impact on the country's media landscape as the only remaining hurdle

Reuters  |  Brussels/London 

The flag of the 21st Century Fox Inc. Photo: Reuters
The flag of the 21st Century Fox Inc. Photo: Reuters

The European Commission cleared to take over pay-TV group on Friday, leaving a British investigation into the impact on the country's media landscape as the only remaining hurdle for the $14.5 billion deal.

The Commission said the bid did not raise any competition concerns as Murdoch's and were active in different markets in Europe, while existing rules in European Union countries meant that rivals would still have access to films and TV channels.

and welcomed the decision, which had been expected, and said they would continue to work with the regulators in Britain where it faces a tougher test to complete the deal.

"We now look forward to continuing to work with UK authorities and are confident that the proposed transaction will be approved following a thorough review process," said.

Reuters reported earlier on Friday that the deal would be cleared by the competition enforcer without conditions.

Analysts had not expected the to block the takeover after it approved Murdoch's previous attempt to take full control of in 2011, a deal that was later derailed by a phone-hacking scandal at his British newspapers that revealed close ties between politicians, police and media.

The British government, however, has referred his new attempt to regulators to decide if it is in the public interest, in a bid to diffuse the political controversy around a deal that would extend Murdoch's influence in Britain.

Regulator Ofcom will advise on whether the deal would give and his too much control of Britain's media, and whether the new owner would be committed to upholding broadcasting standards.

As part of the investigation, Media Secretary Karen Bradley has also asked Ofcom to assess whether Murdoch's company is a "fit and proper" holder of a broadcasting licence.

Murdoch's son James, who is chief executive of and chairman of Sky, was criticised by Ofcom in 2012 over his handling of the phone hacking scandal but it ultimately ruled that remained a fit and proper owner of a licence.

Rupert Murdoch, through another part of his media empire, owns The Times and The Sun newspapers, and already has a 39 percent stake in Sky, which is present in more than 12 million British and Irish homes.

It is also present in Germany, Austria and Italy.

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

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Murdoch's Fox gets EU approval to take over Sky in $14.5-bn deal

British investigation into the impact on the country's media landscape as the only remaining hurdle

British investigation into the impact on the country's media landscape as the only remaining hurdle

The European Commission cleared to take over pay-TV group on Friday, leaving a British investigation into the impact on the country's media landscape as the only remaining hurdle for the $14.5 billion deal.

The Commission said the bid did not raise any competition concerns as Murdoch's and were active in different markets in Europe, while existing rules in European Union countries meant that rivals would still have access to films and TV channels.

and welcomed the decision, which had been expected, and said they would continue to work with the regulators in Britain where it faces a tougher test to complete the deal.

"We now look forward to continuing to work with UK authorities and are confident that the proposed transaction will be approved following a thorough review process," said.

Reuters reported earlier on Friday that the deal would be cleared by the competition enforcer without conditions.

Analysts had not expected the to block the takeover after it approved Murdoch's previous attempt to take full control of in 2011, a deal that was later derailed by a phone-hacking scandal at his British newspapers that revealed close ties between politicians, police and media.

The British government, however, has referred his new attempt to regulators to decide if it is in the public interest, in a bid to diffuse the political controversy around a deal that would extend Murdoch's influence in Britain.

Regulator Ofcom will advise on whether the deal would give and his too much control of Britain's media, and whether the new owner would be committed to upholding broadcasting standards.

As part of the investigation, Media Secretary Karen Bradley has also asked Ofcom to assess whether Murdoch's company is a "fit and proper" holder of a broadcasting licence.

Murdoch's son James, who is chief executive of and chairman of Sky, was criticised by Ofcom in 2012 over his handling of the phone hacking scandal but it ultimately ruled that remained a fit and proper owner of a licence.

Rupert Murdoch, through another part of his media empire, owns The Times and The Sun newspapers, and already has a 39 percent stake in Sky, which is present in more than 12 million British and Irish homes.

It is also present in Germany, Austria and Italy.

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

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Business Standard
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Murdoch's Fox gets EU approval to take over Sky in $14.5-bn deal

British investigation into the impact on the country's media landscape as the only remaining hurdle

The European Commission cleared to take over pay-TV group on Friday, leaving a British investigation into the impact on the country's media landscape as the only remaining hurdle for the $14.5 billion deal.

The Commission said the bid did not raise any competition concerns as Murdoch's and were active in different markets in Europe, while existing rules in European Union countries meant that rivals would still have access to films and TV channels.

and welcomed the decision, which had been expected, and said they would continue to work with the regulators in Britain where it faces a tougher test to complete the deal.

"We now look forward to continuing to work with UK authorities and are confident that the proposed transaction will be approved following a thorough review process," said.

Reuters reported earlier on Friday that the deal would be cleared by the competition enforcer without conditions.

Analysts had not expected the to block the takeover after it approved Murdoch's previous attempt to take full control of in 2011, a deal that was later derailed by a phone-hacking scandal at his British newspapers that revealed close ties between politicians, police and media.

The British government, however, has referred his new attempt to regulators to decide if it is in the public interest, in a bid to diffuse the political controversy around a deal that would extend Murdoch's influence in Britain.

Regulator Ofcom will advise on whether the deal would give and his too much control of Britain's media, and whether the new owner would be committed to upholding broadcasting standards.

As part of the investigation, Media Secretary Karen Bradley has also asked Ofcom to assess whether Murdoch's company is a "fit and proper" holder of a broadcasting licence.

Murdoch's son James, who is chief executive of and chairman of Sky, was criticised by Ofcom in 2012 over his handling of the phone hacking scandal but it ultimately ruled that remained a fit and proper owner of a licence.

Rupert Murdoch, through another part of his media empire, owns The Times and The Sun newspapers, and already has a 39 percent stake in Sky, which is present in more than 12 million British and Irish homes.

It is also present in Germany, Austria and Italy.

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

image
Business Standard
177 22