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EU greenlights 21 Century Fox’s Sky takeover - UK still deliberates

SKY

21st Century Fox has received the greenlight to acquire Sky after the EU Commission found that the acquisition raises no competition issues.

The commission reviewed whether the acquisition would reduce competition in member states - an issue which is thought to harm the consumer. The deal is thought to be worth around £18bn.

“Based on the results of its market investigation, the Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns,” said a statement.

"Fox and Sky are mainly active in different markets in 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.”

Fox released a statement following the decision: "21st Century Fox welcomes today’s decision by the European Commission clearing unconditionally its proposed transaction to acquire the outstanding shares of Sky that it does not already own."

In the UK, the merger is still subject to approval. On this, Fox said: "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 EU decision was not frictionless. Telco rivals expressed concerns that the company would dominate the bidding for televised entertainment and sport properties. This was not a sufficient risk for the acquisition to be blocked.

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