Sky takeover bid by Rupert Murdoch referred to the regulator, announces Culture Minister – The Independent

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley has told MPs that she intends to refer 21st Century Fox’s planned takeover of Sky to the competition regulator.

Speaking in parliament, Ms Bradley said that she was referring the possible takeover by Rupert Murdoch’s company on the grounds of media plurality and to ensure the protection and commitment of broadcasting standards.

She had previously already said that she was minded to refer the deal for a full investigation.

Tuesday’s announcement sent shares in Sky down by more than 4 per cent before mostly recovering. 

In March this year Mr Murdoch’s company formally notified the European Commission that it was bidding nearly £12bn for the European pay-TV company.

21st Century Fox struck a preliminary deal to snap up the 61 per cent of Sky that it does not already own in December last year.

If successful, the deal would likely strengthen the position of James Murdoch – who is both chief executive of Fox and chairman of Sky – in his 86-year-old father’s media empire.

It would come more than five years after the media tycoon’s last tilt at taking full control of the business through News Corporation.

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