UK to decide on lengthy probe into UAE-Telegraph deal

Credit: REUTERS/Belinda Jiao

LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) - Britain will decide on Tuesday whether to launch a lengthy investigation into a UAE-led takeover of the Telegraph newspaper, a move that could allow a proposed new law to stop the deal, Media Secretary Lucy Frazer said.

The government is amending legislation to ban foreign states from owning newspapers in response to lawmakers' concerns about Abu Dhabi-backed RedBird IMI's bid to buy the Telegraph.

"The legislation will come into force after Royal Assent, which I suspect will be in about a month or two months," Frazer told LBC radio. "If the Telegraph case is still live, it will affect it."

Frazer said she would make a statement later on Tuesday laying out her decision on whether to refer the deal to a Phase Two in-depth investigation by the competition regulator.

(Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar and Paul Sandle)

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