Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Inquiry into Murdoch's Sky deal delayed until after general election

Inquiry into Murdoch's Sky deal delayed until after general election

The Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, Karen Bradley, made it known that she would be extending the inquiry deadline due to the upcoming election.

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

The U.K. regulatory review of 21st Century Fox's proposed deal to take full control of European pay TV giant Sky is getting extended by about a month now that the British government has called for a snap election in early June.

Sky shareholders would receive £10.75 cash for each share, valuing the entire company at £18.5bn.

Labour's shadow culture secretary Tom Watson opposes the bid and has spoken out against it on numerous occasions in the House of Commons
Labour's shadow culture secretary Tom Watson opposes the bid and has spoken out against it on numerous occasions in the House of Commons

Critics say that the bid raises plurality issues because it will give Fox News owner Murdoch control of Sky, which owns Sky News, operations in Germany and Italy and United Kingdom newspapers including the Sun and Times.

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

"Given the proximity of this decision to the forthcoming general election and following discussions with the parties, Ofcom, the CMA and the Cabinet Office Propriety and Ethics team", Bradley said had moved the deadline until Tuesday 20 June, when Parliament will have officially reopened.

At the time she asked Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to assess the deal and report to her by May 16.

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