European Commission has approved News Corp.'s plans to acquire full ownership of BSkyB, the U.K.'s dominant pay TV service, moving the deal one step closer to final approval. U.K. regulators must approve News Corp.'s plan to buy the 61% of the platform it doesn't already own.
In announcing the decision, EC Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement that the deal would not "weaken competition in the United Kingdom."
A number of broadcasters and news organizations in the U.K. market have opposed the deal, arguing that it would allow Murdoch to take tighter control over the Sky News channel and coordinate TV news coverage with the company's U.K. newspapers, which are some of the largest in the U.K.
News Corp. already exerts a great deal of control over the pay TV platform as its largest shareholder. James Murdoch serves as BSkyB's non-executive chairman in addition to being the chairman and chief executive for Europe and Asia for News Corp.