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

Sky logo on studios

Karen Bradley said Friday she would give regulators more time to offer submissions on the matter because the upcoming June 8 British election.

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.

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

After Bradley receives Ofcom's report she will have to decide whether to refer 21st Century Fox's bid to takeover the 61% of Sky it does not already own to the competition authorities for further scrutiny.

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European competition authorities have already approved the deal but in the UK, Ofcom has an ongoing duty to be satisfied that the holders of broadcast licenses are fit and proper to hold such licenses.

FTSE 100-listed Sky and US-listed Fox are both controlled by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns the Times and the Sun newspapers.

United Kingdom culture secretary Karen Bradley said the reviews by communications regulator Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will be extended from May 16 until June 20.

A previous Ofcom investigation into News International following the phone hacking scandal found that while Murdoch Junior "repeatedly fell short of the conduct expected of him as chief executive and chairman" there was "insufficient evidence to conclude he deliberately engaged in wrongdoing".

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