NewsCorp BSkyB Ofcom report expected end of year

Ofcom is to report back to Business Secretary Vince Cable on NewsCorp’s proposed bid for BSkyB by the end of the year.

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Sky’s Spenglers

NewsCorp made its intention to acquire the remaining 61% of BSkyB it does not currently own to the European Commission on Wednesday.

The Commission has up to 25 days to decide whether to investigate the deal.

The business secretary has since asked Ofcom to investigate the deal on the grounds of media plurality.

Today (5 November), the publication of the “invitation to comment” will be issued to all stakeholders.

Media groups including the BBC and BT wrote to Cable in October asking him to intervene and halt the deal, claiming it “could threaten the future of other UK press and TV groups.”

BSkyB’s and NewsCorp’s responses to Ofcom’s questions will be delivered by 19 November. Following that, Cable has requested Ofcom to report by 31 December.

Cable may then decide to refer the case to the Competition Commission for further investigation, as the Ofcom report will not look into competition issues. This could prompt a 24-week investigation, including hearings and evidence giving sessions.

A European Commission investigation is expected to last four months.

Equity Analysts predict delays from the various investigations will see Sky’s board demanding 760p per share, higher than the 700p per share NewsCorp originally proposed in June.

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