London – European Union regulators have approved Twenty-First Century Fox’s purchase of Britain-based Sky, in a deal worth 11.7 billion pounds.
A British investigation into the impact on the country’s media landscape is the only remaining hurdle for the deal. Regulator Ofcom will advise on whether the deal would give Murdoch and his companies too much control of Britain’s media, and whether the new owner would be committed to upholding broadcasting standards.
The acquisition is a key component of Rupert Murdoch’s strategy to consolidate his media empire.
Murdoch-controlled Fox already owns 39 percent of Sky, a broadcasting and broadband company with operations throughout Europe, including Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy and the UK.
The European Commission said Friday that “the transaction would raise no competition concerns in Europe” and that Fox and Sky are mainly active in “different markets.”
An earlier attempt to buy Sky outright was scuttled by the 2011 phone hacking scandal that rocked Murdoch’s British newspapers and led to the closing down of the 168-year-old News of the World tabloid. Anger over phone hacking has since abated.