Fox CEO James Murdoch expects Sky deal to be approved next year

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(Reuters) - James Murdoch, chief executive of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc FOXA.O, said on Wednesday he expects its bid to acquire Sky PLC SKYB.L to be approved by British regulators in the first half of 2018 despite fallout from a sexual harassment settlement involving former Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly.

Reports recently surfaced that O’Reilly reached a $32 million (£24.1 million) settlement with a woman before Fox News renewed his contract earlier this year. O’Reilly was fired in April.

Murdoch spoke of Twenty-First Century Fox's $15 billion bid to acquire the remaining 61 percent it does not own of Sky PLC SKYB.L while appearing at the Paley International Council Summit in New York.

Reporting by Dang Sheila; Editing by Paul Simao