UK refers Fox bid for Sky to competition regulator

Markets Associated Press

The British government says it is referring Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.'s bid for satellite broadcaster Sky to the country's competition regulator, in a blow to Rupert Murdoch's takeover plans.

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Culture Secretary Karen Bradley told lawmakers on Tuesday that she intended to refer the takeover to the Competition and Markets Authority because of concerns about media plurality.

And she said she was also "minded" to refer it out of concerns about broadcasting standards. Bradley said there is a risk, "which is not purely fanciful," that the merger would not be in the public interest.

Murdoch's media group is trying to buy the 61 percent of Sky it doesn't already own. U.K. broadcast regulator Ofcom has previously said the takeover could give the Murdoch family too much influence over Britain's media.