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Sep 20, 11:03 AM EDT

Fox bid for Sky referred to UK's competition regulator


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LONDON (AP) -- The British government has referred Twenty-First Century Fox's bid for satellite broadcaster Sky to competition authorities on public interest grounds, a move that sets up a six-month investigation into Rupert Murdoch's takeover plans.

The Competition and Markets Authority said Wednesday it "will now examine how the deal would impact media plurality and broadcasting standards in the U.K."

The move was widely expected after Culture Secretary Karen Bradley told lawmakers last week she planned to refer the deal to regulators.

With Murdoch already owning the Sun and The Times newspapers, there are concerns about too much power concentrated in one company.

Murdoch's media group wants to buy the 61 percent of Sky it doesn't already own. The takeover values Sky, which broadcasts Premier League soccer, at 18.5 billion pounds ($25 billion).

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