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Sky-Fox Deal: U.K. Media Minister Quizzed in Parliament

12 December 2016 7:11 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Updated: British lawmakers held an urgent discussion in Parliament on Monday afternoon over 21st Century Fox’s proposed takeover of Europe’s biggest pay-tv operator Sky.

The opposition Labor Party filed an emergency request to quiz the government minister in charge of media policy amid mounting opposition to the $23.2-billion deal, which was announced last Friday. Kevin Brennan, Labor’s spokesman for arts and heritage, and other lawmakers questioned Matt Hancock, the digital and culture minister, who was standing in for Karen Bradley, Prime Minister Theresa May’s minister for media.

Asked whether Bradley would refer the matter to British media regulator Ofcom so that it could rule on whether media plurality would be adversely affected by the deal, Hancock said that as the Fox offer had not been finalized it was too early to comment on this. He added that once Bradley received formal notification of a deal she would have 10 days to respond.

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