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News Corp set for BSkyB clearance

June 23, 2011

By Colin Mann

News Corp has agreed with regulators the final terms of a merger remedy to allow it to proceed with its proposed bid for British Sky Broadcasting, reports the FT.

The document has been passed by Ofcom to the office of Jeremy Hunt, the culture secretary, with an announcement that he will put the revised remedy out for a short period of consultation anticipated early next week. Hunt is currently on a ministerial trip to Brazil.

It is understood the revised terms have tightened guarantees offered by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp for the editorial and financial independence of a spun-off Sky News company.

Hunt announced on March 3rd that he was minded to accept a remedy offered by News Corp to spin off Sky News as an answer to concerns from Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator, that the takeover of BSkyB would affect the diversity of news provision in the UK.

If Hunt finally accepts the agreements, he will give merger clearance, which would allow News Corp to begin negotiations towards a price with the independent directors of BSkyB.

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