Germany clears way for Murdoch to raise SkyD stake

FRANKFURT Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:39pm EST

A passer-by stands in front of the News Corporation building in New York June 28, 2012. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

A passer-by stands in front of the News Corporation building in New York June 28, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Keith Bedford

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German financial authorities cleared the way for Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. to own a majority in German pay-TV company Sky Deutschland.

Sky Deutschland said on Tuesday it could still carry forward its losses if its shareholder structure changed, citing German financial authorities.

In Germany, 60 percent of taxable income is allowed to be offset against tax losses carried forward, which could result in a company not paying any corporate tax at all.

It was unclear, however, whether this would still be allowed if the ownership of the company would change. For that reason, News Corp has held its stake in Sky Deutschland at 49.9 percent, according to the company's annual report.

As of September 30, Sky Deutschland had 2.3 billion euros in losses carried forward.

Sky Deutschland has made a profit in only one year since it was founded in the early 1990s, while News Corp has invested about 1 billion euros in the business.

(Reporting by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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