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Last year, Sky's board tapped Murdoch to become its chairman.

Shareholders took issue with Mr Murdoch, and with director pay at pay-TV company Sky's AGM on Wednesday.

The deal - worth £11.7 billion ($15.4 billion, 13 billion euros) - would see entertainment group 21st Century Fox buy the 61-percent of pan-European satellite TV company Sky it does not already own.

Some institutional shareholders had criticized Murdoch's appointment as chairman, arguing that could pose a conflict of interest given his role as CEO of Sky's largest shareholder. It also said executive pay at Sky was too complex and that bosses could receive huge payouts if the Fox deal goes through.

They claimed that, because Fox is now trying to buy full control of Sky, he could not be a completely independent chairman of the latter.

Despite their position, Murdoch's level of support actually increased from 47% previous year, and the votes attached to Fox's 39% shareholding in Sky meant that both his reappointment and the remuneration report were approved comfortably overall. The majority of the other resolutions passed with over 90% support.

"Independent oversight of the board is particularly important given Fox's ongoing bid to acquire Sky".

The CMA will use its extensive experience of investigating different issues in a wide range of sectors to thoroughly and impartially investigate the proposed takeover of Sky Plc by 21st Century Fox.

The takeover, which is now being scrutinised by the Competition and Markets Authority on public interest grounds having been cleared by regulators in all the other countries in which Sky broadcasts, values the whole of the company at £18.5bn.

21st Century Fox (21CF) has welcomed the publication by the CMA of the Issues Statement.

"Are you confident that the CMA won't unearth new Fox scandals which derail the bid?", Alaphia Zoyab from activist group Avaaz asked. The fantasy series is now the most-watched ever shown on Sky.

Mr Darroch said it was a strong start to the new financial year: "Against the backdrop of pressure on consumer spending and lower spend on United Kingdom television advertising, we were particularly pleased with our own EBITDA growth of 15% in our established business". The company launched new streaming services in Spain and Switzerland in the quarter.

Game of Thrones helped Sky increase customer numbers by 51 per cent in the first quarter, as revenue and earnings also grew.

Shares of Sky, which are valued at 1075p under 21st Century Fox's takeover bid, closed 13p higher at 926.5p.


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