Murdoch must wait extra month to learn fate of Fox-Sky deal

Gladys Abbott
April 21, 2017

This will give United Kingdom regulator Ofcom another month to scrutinize the acquisition to assess issues of media plurality.

Ofcom chief Sharon White will oversee a probe that will also ponder whether Fox bosses are "fit and proper" owners of the United Kingdom satellite broadcaster.

The eagerly awaited reports from Britain's media regulator and anti-trust authorities into 21st Century Fox's proposed £11.7-billion ($15 billion) takeover of pay-TV broadcaster Sky will be postponed until after the upcoming United Kingdom general election in June.

Sky's directors agreed a deal where Fox will buy the 61% of the United Kingdom broadcaster it does not already own in an £11.7bn takeover deal.

It tabled a proposal just before Christmas to buy the remainder of the business for £11.7bn, valuing the entire company at £18.5bn.

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The British government has extended the period for competition regulators to report on 21st Century Fox's $14.5B takeover bid of European pay-TV giant Sky from May 16 to June 20 due to the country's snap election on June 8.

Both Sky and Fox are controlled by businessman Rupert Murdoch, who also owns the Times and the Sun newspapers.

Murdoch's son Lachlan Murdoch is a joint chairman of Fox while his younger son James is chief executive and chairman of Sky.

The deadline for the submission of Ofcom's public interest report into the proposed Fox/Sky merger has been extended until 20 June.

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