Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has scored a big win for its client News Corporation (News Corp.) in its bid to buy the remaining shares in BSkyB by securing the clearance from the European Commission (EC).
News Corp. already owns a 39 percent controlling stake in BSkyB but EC's decision will help the media conglomerate acquire sole control of the broadcaster. News Corp. has offered to buy the remaining shares of BSkyB, which it doesn't own, for 7.8 billion pounds.
According to the Commission, the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area.
The EC based its decision solely on the competition aspects of the proposed transaction. However, it said its decision is without prejudice to the ongoing investigation by the competent UK authorities of whether the proposed transaction is compatible with the UK interest in media plurality.
News Corp.'s attempt to acquire BSkyB is facing stiff resistance from other media organizations which are concerned that this could give News Corp. too much power. News Corp. already owns the Sun and the Times newspapers, as well as their sister papers the News of the World and the Sunday Times.