EU regulators to approve Fox takeover of Sky

Murdoch executive chairman of News Corporation reacts during a panel discussion at the B20 meeting of company CEOs in Sydney

BRUSSELS, April 7 Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox secured unconditional EU antitrust approval on Friday for its 11.7-billion-pound ($14.5 billion) takeover of European pay-TV group Sky.

Once notified, as is normal in the case of media transactions, the European Commission referred the case to the United Kingdom government, while also conducting its own competition review.

It will report back to the United Kingdom government by May 16, leaving a final decision on whether to block the deal with Culture Minister Karen Bradley.

Murdoch first tried to gain full control of Sky in 2011 but was forced to abandon the attempt as controversy raged over the hacking of the telephones of celebrities and crime victims by his tabloid the News of the World, which was subsequently shut down. Sky is the owner of Sky News, the worldwide news company based in the United Kingdom, that is also available to U.S. audiences through Apple TV, Roku and other devices.

21st Century Fox's proposed £11bn takeover of Sky "would raise no competition concerns" according to European Commission competition authorities.


The second half is conducted by Ofcom, the media and telecoms regulator.

"Based on the results of its market investigation, the Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns", said a statement. The two companies compete "only to a limited extent" in acquiring television content and providing pay-TV channels.

Fox is aiming to seize control of the 61% of Sky it does not already own and the bid comes five years after Mr Murdoch's last tilt at taking the business over through News Corporation.

21st Century Fox said it welcomed the EC's decision. Murdoch will get his prize.

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