Britain intends to refer Rupert Murdoch’s takeover of Sky (SKYB.L) to a full investigation because the deal raises concerns about the amount of influence the media mogul would wield.
Below is Culture Secretary Karen Bradley’s statement to parliament, lightly abridged.
“I came to this House, on 16 March, to confirm that I had issued a European Intervention Notice (EIN) in relation to the proposed merger between 21st Century Fox and Sky Plc on the grounds of media plurality and commitment to broadcasting standards.
The EIN triggered a requirement for Ofcom to report – initially by 16 May but extended to 20 June – on the media public interest considerations and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on jurisdiction.
In line with my commitments, I am today publishing both documents.
On the question of whether the merger gives rise to public interest concerns in relation to media plurality, Ofcom’s report is unambiguous.
It concludes, “The transaction raises public interest concerns as a result of the risk of increased influence by members of the Murdoch Family Trust over the UK news agenda and the political process, with its unique presence on radio, television, in print and online. We consider that the plurality concerns may justify the Secretary of State making a reference to the Competition and Markets Authority”.
On the basis of Ofcom’s assessment, I confirm that I am minded to refer to a Phase 2 investigation on the grounds of media plurality.
The reasoning and evidence on which Ofcom’s recommendation is based are persuasive. The…Read More