Britain’s secretary of state on Wednesday ruled that the bid by Rupert Murdoch’s media company to control the European satellite TV service Sky must undergo more rigorous regulatory scrutiny.
Karen Bradley, Britain’s secretary of state for culture and media, formally referred 21st Century Fox’s bid to consolidate the Sky service to Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority.
While the move had been expected, it was a blow to the Murdochs. Bradley asked the authority to determine whether the mogul, his family and other Fox executives were “genuinely committed” to maintaining high broadcast standards.
At issue is whether the deal gives the Murdochs, who control 21st...