LONDON, July 20 BSkyB could agree a deal
in the next two weeks to buy Rupert Murdoch's Sky Italia and his
stake in Sky Deutschland, the Sunday Times reported.
The process has so far faced obstacles from minority
shareholders of Frankfurt-listed Sky Deutschland, the paper
said, citing sources.
The deal would create a European pay-TV powerhouse with 20
million subscribers, with analysts giving an acquisition a
likely price of 7-10 billion euros ($9.5-13.5 billion).
Murdoch's 21st Century Fox owns 100 percent of Sky Italia
and 57 percent of Sky Deutschland. Murdoch currently owns a 39
percent stake in BSkyB, the British pay-TV firm.
Both Sky and Fox declined to comment. BSkyB is to report its
results on July 25, and is likely to provide more details about
the deal then.
Murdoch's empire has a history of bold, if expensive,
gambles. Last week 21st Century Fox revealed that its attempts
to buy Time Warner had been rejected.
A source put the price of a deal at around $80 billion -
which would have made it the 83-year-old magnate's largest-ever
($1 = 0.7391 Euros)
(Reporting By Freya Berry and Kate Holton, editing by Rosalind