The British government has extended the period for competition regulators to report on 21st Century Fox’s $14.5B takeover bid of European pay-TV giant Sky from May 16 to June 20 due to the country’s snap election on June 8.
This will give UK regulator Ofcom another month to scrutinize the acquisition to assess issues of media plurality. European competition authorities have already approved the deal but in the UK, Ofcom has an ongoing duty to be satisfied that the holders of broadcast licenses are fit and proper to hold such licenses.
Today, Britain’s Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Karen Bradley, said in a statement: “Given the proximity of this decision to the forthcoming general election and following discussions with the parties, Ofcom, the CMA [Competition and Markets Authority] and the Cabinet Office Propriety and Ethics team, I wrote to Ofcome and the CMA on Friday…to extend the period by which these reports should be submitted.”
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Theresa May announced a snap general election for June 8, in order to bring “strong leadership” to the UK before Brexit negotiations begin.
Last December, Sky said it had reached a deal with Fox for the remaining 61% stake of the company that Fox didn’t already own for an offer price of £10.75 per share in cash.