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Fallout from the long-playing Fox News sexual harassment scandal continued to spread Friday, bringing increased scrutiny from U.S. investigators and threatening Chairman Rupert Murdoch’s bid to complete 21st Century Fox’s $14.8 billion acquisition of Sky News in the U.K.

With approval of the deal expected next month, a lead attorney for several current and former Fox News employees is urging British regulators to consider what he describes as the network’s pattern of gender and racial discrimination, harassment and retaliation. The deal’s fate could now turn on what’s known as the “fit and proper” test—a requirement that any person holding a UK broadcasting license is and remains fit and proper to do so.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Justice broadened its probe into allegations of sexual and racial harassment at the news operation, questioning anchors and former employees of the news network of choice for most politically conservative Americans, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, which is owned by Murdoch.

That news comes one day after radio reporter Jessica Golloher, a Middle East correspondent who has worked at Fox News since 2008, filed a sexual harassment suit in New York State Supreme Court. She claimed she was fired in retaliation for reaching out to Paul Weiss attorney Michele Hirshman about the alleged mistreatment, a charge that Fox News immediately denied.

Golloher is represented by New York-based attorney Douglas Wigdor, who made even more waves across the Atlantic with an explosive letter he sent on behalf of 19 current and former Fox News employees to Sharon White, chief executive at the British regulatory agency Ofcom. With European antitrust officials approving the Fox-Sky merger last month, Ofcom will have the final regulatory word on the deal.

The letter detailed allegations of “gender and racial discrimination, harassment and retaliation” going back eight years at Fox, and said executives at the media company attempted to “intimidate and silence victims of discrimination and force them to litigate their claims in confidential arbitrations in order to prevent the public from learning about its unlawful conduct.”

Ofcom officials indicated that Thursday that they will take the letter and the ongoing harassment cases at Fox News into account in their decision, which they will make public on June 20. The clearance from European regulators indicates the two companies have their financial ducks in a row, so the key to Ofcom’s approval of the deal at this point would seem to be the ambiguous phrase “fit and proper.”

“It does sound very British,” said Brian Quinn, an associate professor of law at Boston College Law School, “but in fact it’s not so much different than the ‘in the public interest’ standard that our FCC [Federal Communications Commission] would use in considering a station license transfer.”

There’s virtually no case law involving the standard, with the exception of Murdoch’s 2010 effort to acquire Sky. That case was abandoned, amid a huge public outcry over the News Corp. phone hacking scandal, before a ruling was issued.

Allen & Overy is acting for longstanding client 21st Century Fox on the proposed deal, leading on corporate, regulatory and competition matters. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Simpson Thatcher Bartlett are  also advising 21st Century Fox on the deal.

Robert Profusek, a New York-based partner at Jones Day and chair of the firm’s global M&A practice, said he expects the deal to be approved.

“Not to downplay in any way these discrimination allegations, but [the phone hacking scandal] was a very serious situation in which a people and companies at home and abroad suffered,” he said. “At some point, when a company has identified a problem, called in a law firm to clean up the problem and change the culture, there’s not much more you can do, and I would suspect that would be recognized.”

The majority of the harassment cases involving Fox News remain unresolved however, so the concept of moving forward positively could be a tougher sell.

But Profusek said: “I think more relevant than the harassment cases is the fact that Fox already owns 39 percent of Sky, so the idea of blocking them at this point doesn’t make much sense.”

It has been a tumultuous few months for Fox News, with multiple high-profile claims of sexual and racial harassment aimed at its top brass.

Chief Executive Roger Ailes lost his job following claims made against him by former “Fox & Friends” co-host Gretchen Carlson, who said Ailes ogled her and suggested a sexual relationship.

Bill O’Reilly, the popular firebrand anchor, was dismissed last month amid sexual harassment allegations. Five women were paid $13 million to settle harassment suits targeting the host, the New York Times reported.

In April, 13 current and former employees of Fox News filed three separate legal actions against the organization, alleging years of “hostile racial discrimination.”

Eleven people, including Emmy-winning reporter Kelly Wright, filed a class-action lawsuit against the network in New York State Supreme Court; a 12th former employee filed a separate discrimination lawsuit in federal court in the Southern District of New York; and a 13th person turned to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with a discrimination charge.

All of the complaints targeted Judith Slater, the company’s comptroller Fox News fired in late February, and accused her of racial harassment. It was against that backdrop that Bill Shine, who had been with the company since its founding in 1996, resigned as co-president.

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