News Corp.'s BSkyB Bid Requires Review

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The U.K. Office of Communications has recommended that News Corporations' ( NWSA) $12.4 billion bid to buyout U.K.-based British Sky Broadcasting, or BSkyB, be reviewed by the Competition Commission, the Guardian reports.

The Office of Communications reportedly handed over the investigation to the U.K. government's department for culture, media and sports on Dec. 31.

The potential deal received regulatory approval from the European Union in December, but was waiting on the Office of Communication to finalize its review.

News Corp. currently holds a 39% stake in BSkyB, and is looking to buy the remaining 61% for 7.8 billion pounds, or approximately $12.4 billion.

The proposal has gained opposition from BSkyB's rival news outlets as well as the Church of England. Many argue that through the acquisition, News Corp. and CEO Rupert Murdoch would gain too much control of the British media.

News Corp. already owns four major U.K. newspapers, including the nation's largest publication, News of the World. By buying out Sky, News Corp. would acquire its 10 million customers, or close to 66% of the pay-TV subscribers in the U.K.

U.K. culture secretary Jeremy Hunt is expected to announce a final decision on the proposed buyout by the end of the month.

-- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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