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Britain asks regulator to investigate Sky takeover by Murdoch's Fox

Staff Writer |
The British government said it would refer Rupert Murdoch's planned takeover of European pay-TV group Sky to regulators to decide if the deal was in the public interest.

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Murdoch's U.S. TV business Twenty-First Century Fox, which own 39 percent of Sky, notified the European Commission of its 11.7 billion pound ($14.3 billion) bid earlier this month, opening a window for Britain to intervene.

Media Secretary Karen Bradley told parliament it was important and appropriate to seek advice from the regulator Ofcom on whether the deal would give Murdoch and his companies too much control of Britain's media, and whether the new owner would be committed to broadcasting standards.

Bradley said she had set Ofcom a 40-day timetable to investigate, and expected to receive its report by May 16.

She said Ofcom, as an independent regulator, would assess whether Murdoch's company was a "fit and proper" holder of a broadcasting license in the same time frame.

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