July 20, 2017 / 10:23 AM / a month ago

Britain still likely to refer Murdoch's Sky deal for further scrutiny

LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - Britain said on Thursday it still intended to refer Rupert Murdoch's bid to buy pay-TV group Sky for further scrutiny to assess whether it would give the media mogul too much influence.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley, who is weighing whether to send the deal for an investigation, said she had to consider new evidence before taking a final decision, which will likely come in the next few weeks.

"There has not been time to consider all the representations and I am not in a position today to make my final decision on referral," she told lawmakers.

"Having carefully reviewed the party's representations, and in the absence of further proposed undertakings, I am still minded to refer on the media plurality grounds, and still minded not to accept the undertakings in lieu of a referral."

Bradley said last month she intended to refer the $15 billion deal for deeper investigation after she rejected proposals by Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox to ensure the independence of Sky's news service.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton

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