Sky deal goes to EC, UK ‘minded’ to refer to Ofcom

With 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch extolling the creative benefits of Fox’s proposed takeover of Sky, the next stage in the process has been triggered now that the European Commission (EC) has formally been notified of the bid.

This triggers a 10-day countdown for culture secretary Karen Bradley to decide whether to refer the bid to Ofcom.

Bradley confirming that formal notification of the proposed deal had been lodged with the EC. “I have, today, written to the parties to inform them that I am ‘minded to’ issue a European Intervention Notice on the basis that I have concerns that there may be public interest considerations – as set out in the Enterprise Act 2002 – that are relevant to this proposed merger that warrant further investigation,” she said in a Statement.

“To be clear – I have not taken a final decision on intervention at this stage. In line with the guidance that applies to my quasi-judicial role I am inviting written representations from the parties and will aim to come to a final decision on whether to intervene in the merger within 10 working days of today’s notification,” she advised.

Bradley is due to give her decision in the week of 13th March.

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