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Culture secretary considers News Corp's BSkyB merger

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has stated that he will be referring the proposed merger between BSkyB and News Corp to the Competition Commission.

25 January 2011

Jeremy Hunt, culture secretary, has revealed that the proposed merger between BSkyB and News Corp will be referred to the Competition Commission.

After reading the Ofcom report and hearing from the companies in question, he said that sales negotiations resulting in a merger of the firms might not be in the public interest.

He stated that the Office of Fair Trading, under section 93 of the Enterprise Act 2002, will be brought in as an "expert public body with experience in negotiating undertakings in lieu".

Mr Hunt said he would consider a formal 15-day consultation period in which interested parties could express their views if the process produces undertakings in lieu that "will prevent or otherwise mitigate the merger from having effects adverse to the public interest".

This comes after US firm Ball Corporation announced that its negotiation strategies with aerosol cans supplier Aerocan SAS were successful and that it would take control of the company, which owns three plants throughout Europe. 

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