) -- The British government is investigating

News Corp.'s

(NWSA) - Get Report

offer to acquire the rest of U.K.-based pay TV operator Board of British Sky Broadcasting

, or BSkyB.

News Corp. holds a 39% stake in BSkyB, and on Wednesday it notified the European Commission of plans to make a bid to buy the remaining 61%.

BSkyB's rival news outlets are opposed to the possible takeover, arguing that News Corp. and its CEO Rupert Murdoch may be gaining too much control of the British media.

Murdoch's company already owns four major U.K. newspapers, including the nation's largest publication,

News of the World

. By acquiring Sky, News Corp. would acquire its 10 million customers, or close to 66% of pay TV subscribers in the U.K.

U.K. Business Secretary Vince Cable has ordered that the Office of Communications (OFCOM), the U.K. broadcast regulator, to step in and investigate. Cable has requested that OFCOM complete a review by Dec. 31.

The European Commission will also conduct a review of the possible deal to be completed by Dec. 8, unless the Commission decides to conduct a longer "phase II" investigation, which could take 125 additional days.

In June, News Corp. offered 7.8 billion pounds for the remaining Sky stake, or approximately $12.4 billion, but the board rejected the proposal.

-- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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