EU OKs BSkyB deal to create multinational network

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's antitrust authority says it has approved the bid by Britain's BSkyB to create a multinational pay TV network by taking control of its sister companies in Italy and Germany.

The EU's executive Commission found the transaction wouldn't hinder competition since the companies are currently serving different markets that are also separated by language barriers.

BSkyB said in July it will buy Sky Italia and 57 percent of Sky Deutschland for 5.35 billion pounds ($8.6 billion) from U.S. media giant 21st Century Fox, creating a network with 20 million customers across three of Europe's four biggest markets.

Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch is chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox but he is also BSkyB's largest shareholder with a stake of just over 39 percent.