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LONDON — British Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said Thursday that he expects to make a decision on News Corp.’s bid to acquire BSkyB shortly after Parliament reconvenes after the Easter break on April 26.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4 program The Media Show, Hunt said the decision was subject to the ongoing Parliamentary timetable.
“I hope we will have it shortly — [it will] probably be just after the Parliamentary recess but we are going through all the consultation responses we have received and we are going to do this as quickly as possible.”
Hunt has faced criticism from multiple quarters for his decision to wave through the deal without an antitrust investigation by the Competition Competition. News Corp has said that it will sell off a share of Sky News in order to allay concerns and take full control of the 61 percent of BSkyB that it does not already own.
But Hunt insisted that any concerns over News Corp’s commercial dominance of the U.K. media Market would be adequately covered by existing Competition law.
“Irrespective of my decision Competition Law means that if News Corp. were to become too dominant in the media Market the Office of Fair Trading [regulator] could trigger an investigation.
News Corp offered £7 per share last summer for the outstanding shares in Britain’s most successful pay-TV platform, valuing the business Rupert Murdoch launched in the early nineties at $12 billion.
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