News Corp opens BSkyB deal to full UK competition inquiry

LONDON Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:08am EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Media giant News Corp (NWSA.O) has paved the way for the British government to refer its proposed deal on buying BSkyB (BSY.L) to the Competition Commission, potentially defusing a political row, but setting itself up for long delays.

News Corp, under fire for a phone-hacking scandal at its News of the World paper that threatens its multi-billion-dollar takeover, said it was withdrawing undertakings it had made that would have allowed it to bypass a full Competition Commission inquiry.

"Should the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport decide on this basis to refer the proposed transaction to the Competition Commission for a detailed review, News Corporation is ready to engage with the Competition Commission on the substance," it said in statement.

News Corp said it still believed that the BSkyB deal would not give it too much dominance over British news media.

(Created by Jodie Ginsberg)

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