Wednesday 18 July 2018

Sky-Fox deal probe findings delayed

Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch

Kate Holton

Britain's competition regulator will publish its provisional findings on Rupert Murdoch's planned takeover of Sky next month, later than expected, but the overall timing of the review should remain unchanged.

Mr Murdoch's $15bn (€12.7bn) bid to buy the 61pc of Sky it does not already own is being watched closely in the US where Walt Disney is in the lead to acquire much of his Twenty-First Century Fox media empire, including Sky.

Britain's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which has been inundated with submissions from interested parties over the high-profile takeover, said it would make its provisional findings public in January, rather than the week of December 18.

The regulator is still due to give its final findings in March, 15 months after Murdoch's Fox agreed in December 2016 to buy the European pay-TV group, reigniting a row over whether the media mogul has too much influence in Britain.

Mr Murdoch failed in a 2011 attempt to buy Sky. Since then he has split his companies into two to separate the newspapers from the TV businesses. Fox said when it agreed the deal it did not foresee any regulatory difficulties but the UK government has taken a strong line against the takeover.

In September UK media secretary Karen Bradley, asked the regulator to examine whether Mr Murdoch had a genuine commitment to broadcasting standards following concerns about Fox News. (Reuters)

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