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UK watchdog delays Fox-Sky deal verdict to 2018

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority pushed back its deadline for presenting its provisional findings on 21st Century Fox Inc.'s proposed acquisition of Sky plc to mid-January 2018.

The watchdog also said it is due to submit its final report on the proposed merger to U.K. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley within February or March 2018, with March 6 set as the statutory deadline.

The CMA originally intended to reveal its initial findings on the £11.7 billion deal in the week of Dec. 18, Reuters reported.

The regulator noted the large number of submissions it had to evaluate in order to "reach an informed and considered provisional view" on the proposed merger, according to the report.

In October, the regulator outlined how it intends to approach its probe into the 21st Century Fox/Sky deal on public interest grounds. The watchdog has six months to give its recommendations, after which Bradley is expected to make her final decision.

The 21st Century Fox/Sky deal has already secured approval from the European Commission.