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News Corp set to win BSkyB battle?

December 20, 2010

By Chris Forrester

News Corp is set to get European Union approval to acquire the 61 per cent of BSkyB that it does not already own. Numerous reports refer to a source close to the application who says that News Corp’s absorption of BSkyB does not have a significant anti-competitive impact.

The EU verdict will formally be given this by December 22nd, and is said to be without applying concessions offered by News Corp.

The positive EU decision – if confirmed – will perhaps influence UK communications regulator Ofcom which is also reviewing the scheme. However, Ofcom is arguing that it has found potentially material public interest issues in the News Corp bid.  Last week it was reported that meetings were scheduled between News Corp and Ofcom officials in an attempt to explore areas of possible agreement.

Ofcom’s core decision is whether to pass the buck onto a full examination by the UK’s Competition Commission. The final decision to approve or deny News Corp’s plan is with Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable.

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