NEWS Corp has officially notified the European Commission about its intention to take full control of BSkyB.
Business secretary Vince Cable will now be among those who decide whether the £8bn buyout will be allowed to go ahead.
The Commission now has 25 working days to conduct an initial probe, after which it can launch a full investigation, which can last up to 125 days.
James Murdoch, who runs News Corp in Europe, has faced vociferous opposition from other media outlets who say the deal would compromise media plurality.
DMGT’s Associated Newspapers, the Telegraph Media Group, Trinity Mirror and Guardian Media Group wrote a joint letter urging Cable to intervene in the deal. The BBC, Channel 4 and BT also signed the letter. The latest development will cause a massive headache for Cable, who will come under intense pressure from both sides. Cable, who says he will decide whether to act within two weeks, has the power to refer the case to the Competition Commission and media regulator Ofcom.
News Corp already owns 39 per cent of BSkyB.