The European Union has received formal notification of 21st Century Fox’s intention to takeover European pay-TV operator Sky in a £11.7 billion ($14.3 billion) deal. The move triggers a regulatory process that could result in the deal being blocked.
Karen Bradley, the U.K.’s Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said Friday that she is likely to refer the deal to the media regulator on two public interest grounds: media plurality and broadcasting standards.
Fox and Sky can now make further written representations, and Bradley has 10 working days to decide whether to issue a European Intervention Notice. This would trigger action by media regulator Ofcom to look at the issues and report back to Bradley, who would have the final say.
The proposed deal was first announced on Dec. 9 when Sky revealed it had received an approach from Fox to acquire the remaining 61% share of Sky it does not already own.
Bradley will inform the U.K. Parliament on progress of the take-over and her role in relation to it on Monday.
A Fox spokeswoman said: “As we have previously indicated, we anticipate regulators will undertake a thorough review of the transaction, and we look forward to engaging with them as appropriate. We … are confident that the transaction will be approved based on a compelling fact set.”