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Fox’s $14.9 billion Sky Deal Cleared in Ireland, U.K. Announcement Imminent

Variety logo Variety 6/27/2017 Stewart Clarke
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With a decision from U.K. authorities on 21st Century Fox’s proposed £11.7 billion ($14.9 billion) takeover of Sky imminent, Ireland has given the deal a green light.

Fox wants to fully acquire Sky, buying the shares in the European pay TV operator that it does not already own. It needed approval for the deal in all of the territories in which it operates, and has now had that in Austria, Germany, Italy, and the Republic of Ireland. Only the U.K., Sky’s largest market, is still to make a decision. The European Union has also given the deal its blessing.

The U.K. government received a report from media regulator Ofcom last week and a full decision is expected this week. Culture Minister Karen Bradley can either say she is minded to approve the deal in its current form, attach conditions, or refer it to U.K. competition authorities. The U.K. Department for Culture, Media and Sport has said Bradley will make a decision by June 29.

“21st Century Fox welcomes the decision by the Republic of Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment to clear the company’s acquisition of the outstanding shares of Sky that the company does not already own, ruling that the proposed transaction will not result in insufficient plurality for any audience in the Republic of Ireland,” Fox said in relation to the Irish decision.

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