Culture Secretary to announce decision on £11.7bn Murdoch bid for Sky

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Culture Secretary Karen Bradley is to announce her verdict on Rupert Murdoch's £11.7 billion bid to take full control of Sky later today.

Mr Murdoch's 21st Century Fox needs the approval in all the territories in which it operates for its plans to buy the 61% of Sky it does not already own.

It has already been given the green light by regulators in Ireland, Austria, Germany and Italy, leaving the UK as the final hurdle to pass before the deal can be done.

British regulator Ofcom submitted its public interest report to the Government last Tuesday, while the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) also handed over its assessments of the deal.

Ms Bradley must now decide whether or not to refer the deal for a fuller ''phase 2 investigation'' by the CMA, considering Ofcom's findings on whether the deal is in the public interest and if Fox's directors meet a ''fit and proper'' test.

The Culture Secretary has previously said she was aiming to make a statement in Parliament detailing her ''minded to'' decision by June 29, with an opportunity for further representations to be made.

Mr Murdoch's bid comes five years after his last attempt at taking the business over through News Corporation in 2011.

The bid faced opposition from media industry rivals and politicians before it was scuppered by acute pressure on the company brought about by phone-hacking claims involving News International.

While Mr Murdoch has hived off the newspapers into a separate company, News Corp, critics of the deal this time around argue the family is still the ultimate owner of both the newspaper and TV assets in the UK and therefore has substantial control over the UK news media.