The U.K. government on Thursday said it would refer 21st Century Fox Inc.'s $15.5 billion proposal to consolidate ownership of Sky PLC to the country's competition authority on both broadcasting standards and media plurality grounds.
The move comes after culture secretary Karen Bradley said earlier in the week that she was "minded" to refer the deal to the Competition and Markets Authority.
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Fox and Sky said they disagreed with her intention but wouldn't be making any representations against it, paving the way for Thursday's decision.
The CMA has 24 weeks to investigate the deal, in which Fox is seeking to buy the 61% of Sky it doesn't already own, and provide evidence to the government. The government will then come to a final decision on whether or not the merger can proceed.
21st Century Fox and Wall Street Journal parent News Corp share common ownership.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 14, 2017 06:43 ET (10:43 GMT)