Economy

Britain asks regulator to take new look at Fox bid for Sky

Britain asks regulator to take new look at Fox bid for Sky”

The Government has erected a new obstacle to the Murdoch family's pursuit of full control of Sky, after asking the media regulator to look again at 21st Century Fox's record as a broadcaster.

It said: "The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has written to Ofcom under section 106B (2) of the Enterprise Act 2002, seeking further clarification in relation to representations made on the Secretary of State's referral decision".

It tabled a proposal just before Christmas to buy the remainder of the company for £11.7bn, valuing the whole of Sky at £18.5bn.

In her last public statement Bradley said she was minded to refer the elements of the deal concerning media plurality to British competition authorities, but not further scrutinize whether the Murdoch family are "fit and proper" owners of the proposed combined Fox and Sky business.

The DCMS now says OFCOM has been given two weeks to respond and is expected to do so before 25 August. For this reason the department has asked Ofcom to advise on a number of points arising from these representations.

The US$15 billion (RM64.3 billion) deal should be scrutinised to see if it gave media magnate Rupert Murdoch too much influence over Britain's media, Bradley had said.

The broadcasting standards strand of the investigation was an assessment of Fox's commitment to uphold United Kingdom broadcasting standards.

In May, Fox News reported that murdered Democratic aide Seth Rich had been identified as the source of the WikiLeaks email hack, a story that was used by Republicans to attack claims of Russian involvement in the presidential election.



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