Sky takeover by 21st Century Fox: A potted history of Rupert Murdoch's pursuit of the European media giant

Oliver Gill
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Rupert Murdoch first launched a takeover of BSkyB in 2010 (Source: Getty)

Culture secretary Karen Bradley today revealed her "minded-to" decision for regulators to probe deeper into 21st Century Fox's proposed takeover of Sky.

While she concluded there was no need to delve further on the grounds of "commitment to broadcasting standards", the deal came unstuck on the basis of media plurality.

Read more: Fox's £11.7bn Sky takeover to be investigated over public interest concerns

But this isn't the first time we've been here.

As we pass the seven-year anniversary of the Murdoch empire attempting to secure full control of Sky, we look back at Murdoch's pursuit of Sky.

News Corp, BSkyB, 21st Century Fox and Sky: How did we get here?

  • June 2010 – Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corporation launches takeover bid to buy 61 per cent shareholding of BSkyB it does not own.
  • November/December 2010 – Business secretary Vince Cable refers deal to Ofcom before controversially claiming he had “declared war” on Rupert Murdoch.
  • March-July 2011 – Cable departs with culture secretary Jeremy Hunt taking the lead. Ofcom queries media plurality of the deal. Hunt reveals plans to give the deal give clearance with concessions that include a separation of Sky News. Decision faces political and industry pressure to the contrary.
  • July 2011 – News Corporation engulfed in phone hacking scandal, BSkyB shares plummet. Murdoch withdraws his bid.
  • June 2013 – Rupert Murdoch splits News Corporation, spinning 21st Century Fox into a separate company. Move seen as key to tackling competition concerns.
  • November 2014 – BSkyB changes its name to Sky after £7bn deal to swallow German and Italian businesses.
  • December 2016 – 21st Century Fox launches fresh bid for Sky shareholding it does not own. Sets out a deadline to complete by the end of 2017.
  • 3 March 2017 – European Commission receives formal notification of the deal and refers the deal to culture minister Karen Bradley to consider intervention.
  • 16 March 2017 – Bradley intervenes on two public interest grounds – media plurality and commitment to broadcasting standards. She asks Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to prepare reports.
  • 20 June 2017 – Ofcom and the CMA deliver reports to Bradley.
  • 29 June 2017 –Bradley reveals she is “minded to” refer deal to phase 2 probe on grounds of media plurality. She declines a phase 2 probe on grounds of commitment to broadcasting standards.
  • 14 July 2017 – Deadline for parties to make representations to Bradley in response to her “minded to” decisions.

Read more: Over to you Karen: Irish regulators give Fox Sky takeover the green light

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