by BBC news web site
Broadcaster Sky and 21st Century Fox have reached agreement on the terms of a takeover deal it was announced lunchtime. Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox will pay £11.7bn for the 61% stake it does not already own. Sky shareholders will receive £10.75 in cash for each share, valuing the entire company at £18.5bn. The deal comes amid concerns that Rupert Murdoch, who also owns the Sun and the Times newspapers, will have excessive influence over UK media. Karen Bradley, the Culture Secretary, will have 10 days to decide whether the Fox bid raises public interest concerns – in this case media plurality. She has the power to ask Ofcom, the media watchdog, to examine the deal.
Tom Watson, shadow culture secretary, urged Ms Bradley to refer the deal to Ofcom: “When she stood on the steps of Downing Street this summer, the prime minister said to the people of this country that ‘when we take the big calls, we’ll think not of the powerful, but you’.
“This is a big call. The government needs to decide whose side it’s on.”
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