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European Commission Approves Fox Bid To Control Sky

Deadline logo Deadline 4/7/2017 David Lieberman
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21st Century Fox is a step closer to acquiring the 61% share of pay-TV giant Sky which it does not already own: The European Commission today cleared the transaction.

Britain’s Ofcom is still investigating whether the deal would serve the public, and is due to issue its report by May 16.

But Fox says today that it welcomes the EC’s unconditional approval of the transaction. “We now look forward to continuing to work with UK authorities and are confident that the proposed transaction will be approved following a thorough review process,” the company says.

The EC says that Fox and Sky “are mainly active in different markets in the Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy and the UK. They compete with each other only to a limited extent, mainly in the acquisition of TV content and in the wholesale supply of basic pay-TV channels.”

As a result, it adds, the transaction “would lead to only a limited increase in Sky’s existing share of the markets for the acquisition of TV content as well as in the market for the wholesale supply of TV channels.”

Sky said this past December it had reached a deal with Fox for the remaining stake on an offer price for £10.75 per share in cash. They expect the transaction to close by the end of this year.

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