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Sky-Fox inquiry extended until after UK election

SkyUK culture secretary Karen Bradley has extended the investigation deadline for 21st Century Fox’s planned £11.7 billion (US$15 billion) takeover of Sky until after the UK general election.

In a statement published Friday, Bradley said she had written to UK broadcast regulator Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), extending the period within which they must report to her until late June.

Previously the deadline was set for May 16, before British Prime Minister Theresa May last week called for a snap general election that will be held on June 8.

“Given the proximity of this decision to the forthcoming general election and following discussions with the parties, Ofcom, the CMA and the Cabinet Office Propriety and Ethics team, I wrote to Ofcom and the CMA on Friday 21 April to extend the period by which these reports should be submitted to Tuesday 20 June,” said Bradley.

She told the House of Commons in March that it was “wholly appropriate” to seek comprehensive advice from Ofcom on public interest considerations, and from the CMA on jurisdiction issues, in relation to the proposed deal.

21st Century Fox agreed in December to pay £11.7 billion for the 61% it does not already own of Sky. The terms of the takeover a deal that will value the pay TV operator at £18.5 billion.