The European Commission has unconditionally approved News Corporation's bid to take full control of BSkyB on competition grounds, the Guardian reported.
In recent months, the News Corp bid to buy BSkyB, of which it already owns 39%, opened a great debate over media concentration in the UK. News Corp's bid could be a threat to the diversity of the UK media landscape, it was said.
Today's move was widely expected, the Guardian noted. The paper cited the EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia who said "I am confident that this merger will not weaken competition in the United Kingdom. The effects on media plurality are a matter for the UK authorities".
After the EU decision, the UK communications regulator Ofcom will also have to give its approval. Ofcom is due to report to Vince Cable, the business secretary, by the end of the year on whether the deal should be blocked on media plurality grounds. An alliance of rival UK media groups has called on Cable to block the proposed takeover on plurality grounds.