The European Commission has given their approval to the takeover bid made by Rupert Murdoch’s news corporation for satellite broadcaster BskyB. The commission has refuted any claims that the takeover would significantly impede competition in Europe.
BskyB had initially rejected an offer of £12bn from Murdoch’s News Corporation in June. News Corporation already boast a host of media outlets including the Times and the Sun newspapers, and Sky’s competitors fear a takeover would give Murdoch’s corporation too much power. News Corporation is said to have welcomed the decision made by the European Commission.
The Office of Communication or, as it is more commonly known as Ofcom, are currently conducting a separate investigation. Their inquiry is focusing on “Media Plurality”, where it is assesses the degree to which news outlets are concentrated under one organisations ownership.
The European Commission released a statement saying that its ruling would not prejudice Ofcom’s investigation; “The UK remains free to decide whether or not to take appropriate measures to protect its legitimate interest in media plurality.”
News Corporation already possesses 39% of BskyB, and this takeover bid highlights their intensions to take full control of the company.
Along with the Sun and the Times, News Corporation also boast the News of The World as their titles. They currently account for a third of the UK’s national newspaper circulation, while BskyB are nearing 100 million customers.
News Corporation also own major assets outside of the UK, these include; TV Empire and Fox Film, along with a number of major publishing companies, including Harper Collins publisher of the Collins English Dictionary.