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EU backs BSkB buying Sky Italia

The European Commission on Thursday gave the green light to BSkyB's bid to buy Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland for €8.8 billion.

EU backs BSkB buying Sky Italia
The BSkyB deal was announced in July. TV photo: Shutterstock

"The Commission has reached the conclusion that the transaction would not raise competition concerns, since the activities of the three companies are geographically complementary," it said in a statement.

EU approval comes seven weeks after BSkyB announced the deal to create a pan-European pay-TV giant.

At the time the company said the new firm will be "a world-class multinational pay TV provider that serves 20 million customers and brings together the leading pay TV businesses in three of Europe's four biggest markets."

"By creating the new Sky, we will be able to use our collective strengths and expertise to serve customers better, grow faster and enhance returns," BSkyB chief executive Jeremy Darroch said in a statement in July.

READ MORE: BSkyB to buy Sky Italia

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PHOTOS: Double takes in Rome as John Malkovich plays pope

Dressed in white robes and other papal insignia, actor John Malkovich delighted throngs on Saint Peter's Square in the Vatican City on Thursday as he filmed a scene for Paulo Sorrentino's The New Pope series.

PHOTOS: Double takes in Rome as John Malkovich plays pope
Is the pope? No, it's The New Pope. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

Pilgrims did a double take as the bearded “pontiff” strode around, the 65-year-old going as far as to greet babies proffered for his “blessing”.

After the major success of Sorrentino's The Young Pope series, starring Jude Law, the Italian director has returned with a follow-up drama with American Malkovich as Pope John Paul III.

READ ALSO: Six Italian series worth watching beyond My Brilliant Friend

The actor rode on board a black popemobile rather than the usual white variant and bodyguards were on hand just in case the enthusiasm of yellow rose-waving bystanders ever got out of hand as he left the vehicle to acknowledge them.

As well as spying Malkovich, onlookers also got to see the escort of visiting Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite along the famed Via della Conciliazione en route to a reception with Pope Francis.

But it appeared it was the actor who got top billing as he was put through his paces for the eight-part series — a collaboration between Sky, HBO and Canal+.

Law played an ultra-conservative and machiavellian Pope Pius XIII in The Young Pope, a well-received ten-part series.


All photos by Vincenzo Pinto for AFP. 

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