United Kingdom to give initial ruling on Fox-Sky takeover by June 29

But the Sky deal requires the consent of British regulators.

"There will then be an opportunity for representations to be made before I make a final decision".

That issue will hinge on the report British regulators were slated to submit to the government yesterday, on whether 21st Century Fox should be allowed to buy the rest of British satellite giant Sky. Bradley has up to 10 working days to decide what to do next.

The Culture Secretary said she will aim to make a statement in Parliament detailing her "minded to" decision by Thursday June 29.

Watson said Bradley should call on the CMA to investigate the deal.

The reports, filed to culture secretary Karen Bradley, consider whether the takeover would be in the public interest.

But that effort was abandoned amid a telephone hacking scandal.

The timing is awkward for Mr Murdoch and other 21st Century Fox executives, including his sons James and Lachlan.

Fox, which owns cable, film and pay-TV assets around the world, says the media market has changed dramatically in recent years as broadcasters face new challenges from streaming services like Netflix. Both denied all the allegations against them.

Analysts speculate that Ofcom is likely to raise some issues with the takeover - in particular regarding Sky News - but if that is the case, that Fox is expected to offer lesser concessions, such as suggesting that Sky News will have an independent editorial board.

But accusations of sexual harassment against former Fox News boss Roger Ailes and former star host Bill O'Reilly have threatened the planned acquisition.

Wary of the political fallout from the last attempt, when a public inquiry exposed close ties between Murdoch's newspapers and leading politicians, the British government has asked its regulators to assess the impact.

On Monday Lisa Bloom, a lawyer representing one of the women pursuing litigation against O'Reilly, said the NY state division of human rights was investigating Fox News over a complaint she lodged over harassment and discrimination.

Vanessa Coleman

Comments