Watch out, citizens of Europe! 21st Century Fox is looking to control the sky, and the European Commission may be willing to hand it over to them!
To be clear, no corporate entity should be allowed to control the sky. It belongs to all of us. We here at Bleeding Cool certainly aren't going to stand by and… hang on a second folks.
Readers, we must apologize. Apparently it's not the sky that Fox is trying to control in Europe, but Sky, the popular pay television service. Fox already owns a 39% share in the company, and they're looking to buy the other 61%. Before that, they'll need to receive permission from various governing bodies, and according to a report from Deadline, they've gotten just that from the European Commission. The decision claimed that Fox and Sky only compete in a "limited" way over TV content acquisition and pay TV channels, and that the merger wouldn't increase Sky's market share too much.
That means that Fox and Sky need only get approval from the U.K. to make the fifteen billion dollar deal final, which they believe should happen before the end of the year. Opposition to the new deal says that founder Rupert Murdoch would own too many news outlets in the UK if his company took over Sky, and also that he might not really be fit to own any in the first place. Regardless, U.K. authorities Ofcom are investigating the deal, and giant corporations rarely don't get whey they want if they want it badly enough. It's very possible it will go through.
This isn't the first time Fox has tried to gain control of Sky. NewsCorp tried to buy Sky back in 2010 but ended up having to withdraw the bid as they were embroiled in a phone hacking scandal in 2011. Perhaps opponents' best hope is for another scandal to break out, killing the deal a second time.
In any case, things could be worse…