In one of the final steps towards 21st Century Fox’s £11.7B ($14.7B) takeover of European pay-TV giant Sky, the Republic of Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment has cleared the transaction, saying it will not result in insufficient plurality for any audience there. Fox is looking to buy the 61% of Sky which it does not already own and the deal has already been okayed on public interest grounds by authorities in all of the markets in which Sky operates outside of the UK. Those include Austria, Germany, Italy and now the Republic of Ireland.
Today’s decision also follows unconditional clearance of the proposed transaction by all competent competition authorities, notably the European Commission and the Jersey competition authority.
In the UK, media regulator Ofcom last week formally submitted to Culture Secretary Karen Bradley the findings of its review to assess issues of media plurality. Her verdict is due this week.
Some analysts believe Ofcom’s report will have raised concerns about the takeover, says The Guardian, but they also expect that the deal for the long-coveted asset will be cleared. This comes six years after Rupert Murdoch first attempted to acquire the then-BSkyB before walking away during the phone-hacking scandal.