Fox's Bid for Sky Set for More U.K. Scrutiny

By Jason Douglas and Stu Woo Features Dow Jones Newswires

The U.K. government said it was likely to require further scrutiny of 21st Century Fox Inc.'s GBP11.7 billion ($15.1 billion) bid to buy the 61% of British TV giant Sky PLC it doesn't already own--adding another hurdle to Rupert Murdoch's protracted quest to consolidate control of his transatlantic media assets.

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British Culture Secretary Karen Bradley, who oversees media mergers in the country, said she was minded to refer the proposal to U.K. competition authorities after Britain's communications regulator raised public interest concerns about the deal.

The "minded to" language is used by the government to signal its intentions, but isn't binding.

Speaking in Parliament, Ms. Bradley said she would make a final decision on whether to refer the deal after hearing representations from the parties involved over the next 10 working days.

The billionaire media mogul Mr. Murdoch, who along with his family is a major shareholder in both Fox and The Wall Street Journal publisher News Corp, has long coveted full control of Sky. He abandoned a previous attempt to buy out Sky in 2011 after a phone-hacking scandal that also damaged his reputation.

Write to Jason Douglas at jason.douglas@wsj.com and Stu Woo at Stu.Woo@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 29, 2017 07:36 ET (11:36 GMT)