Sky Deal Clears EU Hurdle Ahead of U.K. Report in May

Sky Deal Clears EU Hurdle Ahead of U.K. Report in May

Sky Deal Clears EU Hurdle Ahead of U.K. Report in May

Approval of the new acquisition bid by European authorities had been expected.

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The deal would give the Murdoch family control of Sky News through 21st Century Fox (which already owns the Fox News service), and the Sun, Times and Sunday Times newspapers and the TalkSport radio station through News Corporation, a separate company.

Analysts had not expected the European Union to block the takeover after it approved Murdoch's previous attempt to take full control of Sky 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.

Fox said in December it had reached an agreement to buy the 61-per cent stake in Sky it did not already own in a deal worth £11.7 billion.

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The deal will now await authorization by the British authorities.

"The proposed transaction would lead to only a limited increase in Sky's existing share of the markets for the acquisition of TV content as well as in the market for the wholesale supply of TV channels", it said.

A statement issued on Friday said: "Based on the results of its market investigation, the Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns".

Fox expressed a welcoming stance: "We now look forward to continuing to work with United Kingdom authorities and are confident that the proposed transaction will be approved following a thorough review process".

The EU unconditionally cleared a News Corp. takeover of Sky in 2010, which was later abandoned in an outcry over revelations of News Corp. phone hacking.

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