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UPDATE 2-Britain pushes back date for provisional findings on Sky-Fox deal

UPDATE 2-Britain pushes back date for provisional findings on Sky-Fox deal
From Reuters - December 6, 2017

LONDON (Reuters) - Britains competition watchdog will give its initial verdict on Rupert Murdochs bid to buy Sky (SKYB.L) next month, later than expected, due to the vast number of responses it has received on the deal.

Murdochs $15 billion bid to buy the 61 percent of Sky it does not already own is being watched closely in the United States where Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) is in the lead to acquire much of his Twenty-First Century Fox Incs (FOXA.O) media empire, including Sky.

Britains Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which has been inundated with submissions from interested parties over the high profile takeover, said on Wednesday it would make its provisional findings public in January rather than the week of Dec. 18.

It is not unusual for us to update our timetables, a spokeswoman said. In this case, we have received a large body of evidenceincluding numerous face-to-face hearings and more than 12,000 submissions - so it is vital that we spend the time to reach an informed and considered provisional view.

The regulator is still due to give its final findings in March, 15 months after Murdochs Fox agreed in December 2016 to buy the European pay-TV group, reigniting a row over whether the media mogul has too much influence in Britain.

Murdoch failed in a 2011 attempt to buy Sky when a phone-hacking scandal at his News of the World forced him to drop a previous attempt.

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