Ireland OKs 21st Century Fox's Plan to Acquire Sky Shares

Decision in U.K. expected June 29
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21st Century Fox said the Republic of Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment cleared Fox’s plan to acquire the shares of satellite broadcaster Sky it does not already own.

Fox still needs approval from the U.K. secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport, which is expected to rule on whether Fox would be a fit and proper owner of Sky on June 29. The sexual harassment and discrimination issues at Fox News have made obtaining approval trickier for Fox.

Fox says Ireland’s decision follows rulings clearing the transaction on public interest grounds in Austria, Germany and Italy. The deal was also cleared by the European Commission.

The U.K. secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport has confirmed that she has now received the reports from Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority on the specified public interest grounds, media plurality and commitment to broadcasting standards.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has stated that the secretary of state will make her initial "minded to" decision, publish the reports and return to Parliament to make an oral statement by June 29.

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