UK to give new ruling on Fox-Sky takeover by June 29


Reuters

UPDATE 1-UK to give new ruling on Fox-Sky takeover by June 29


(Adds background, details)
    LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch will find out by
June 29 whether he is closer to securing takeover target Sky
<SKYB.L> after Britain set out a timetable to rule on whether
the media mogul is a suitable owner of Europe's biggest
broadcaster.
    Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox <FOXA.O> has offered
$14.8 billion to buy the 61 percent of Britain's Sky it does not
already own, reigniting a row in the country over whether the
Australian-born businessman has too much influence. [nL5N1EA42C]
    On Tuesday two regulators submitted their findings to the
government after being asked to look into whether Fox would have
too much control of the media, and whether it would be committed
to upholding broadcasting standards if the deal went ahead.
    Media regulator Ofcom has also examined whether executives
at Fox are "fit and proper" to hold a broadcasting licence.
    The reports will be made public when the British government
makes its statement.
    The government will now decide whether to approve the deal,
whether to refer it to the Competition and Markets Authority for
a longer investigation or whether to engage with both parties to
find solutions to their concerns.
    Media Secretary Karen Bradley said she would make an initial
statement by June 29. "There will then be an opportunity for
representations to be made before I take a final decision," she
said.
    Murdoch and his family have long coveted full control of
Sky, despite the damaging failure of a previous attempt in 2011
when their British newspaper business became embroiled in a
phone-hacking scandal which forced them to drop the bid.
    Wary of the political fallout from the last attempt, when a
public inquiry exposed close ties between Murdoch's newspapers
and leading politicians, the British government has asked its
regulators to assess the impact.
    Fox, which owns cable, film and pay-TV assets around the
world, says the media market has changed dramatically in recent
years as broadcasters face new challenges from streaming
services like Netflix.
    The Murdoch family has split its newspaper businesses, which
own the Times and Sun papers in Britain, from its television and
film assets in a move that helped pave the way for another tilt
at Sky.

 (Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Paul Sandle and Adrian
Croft)
 ((kate.holton@thomsonreuters.com; 0044 207 542 8560; Reuters
Messaging: kate.holton.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: SKY M&A/TWENTY FIRST FOX (UPDATE 1)



This article appears in: World Markets , Stocks , Economy
Referenced Symbols: FOXA , SKYB


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