Rupert Murdoch’s US-based media empire will need to formally notify the European Commission of its intentions before the deal can progress.
NewsCorp currently owns 39.1% of BSkyB. Earlier this year it proposed a 700p-a-share buyout of the remainder of the company that would value the firm at £12.6bn.
Sky initially rebuffed the offer, claiming it undervalued the company. A deal in the region of 800p-a-share is now expected to be struck.
Media groups including the BBC and BT have written to business secretary Vince Cable asking him to intervene and halt the deal, claiming it “could threaten the future of other UK press and TV groups.”
Once NewsCorp notifies the European Union of its intentions, Cable will have two weeks to intervene, but further investigation by media regulator Ofcom and the Competition Commission could take months.
The European Commission is believed to be already engaged in informal talks with NewsCorp regarding its management of sport and production rights if the deal were to go ahead, reports the Sunday Telegraph.