UK refers Murdoch's SKY bid to trade watchdog
A bid by U.S. media mogul Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox to take over British media group SKY received a blow Thursday as a final decision on the move was referred to the U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority.
Karen Bradley, the country's culture minister, announced the decision in a parliamentary statement after considering an investigation into the takeover by media regulator, Ofcom.
Bradley told lawmakers she was minded to submit proposed the £1.7 billion ($2.2 billion) takeover to a further 24-week inquiry "on the grounds of media plurality".
A previous bid by Murdoch in 2011 was initially accepted by the then-culture secretary. However, Murdoch had to withdraw the bid following public fury over phone hacking by journalists working on titles owned by his News International media company.
Reporters from Murdoch's now-defunct British tabloid, the News of the World, were accused and found guilty of hacking people's phones for information. The tabloid had to close after 168 years of publication following a boycott by advertisers.
A judicial public inquiry was ordered by then-Prime Minister David Cameron, also known as the Leveson inquiry.
Bradley said the parties to the bid were now being given until July 14 to submit their statements to the Competition and Markets Authority.