UK: Court rules gov missed chance to challenge newspaper sale to Saudi

According to the Financial Times, the UK government missed a deadline to intervene in the sale of stakes in the Independent and the Evening Standard newspapers to a Saudi investor, a UK appeals court ruled on Friday, August 16.

In June, the government referred the sale of the stakes to the UK’s media and competition regulator over concerns about freedom of expression and accurate reporting. The parent companies of the two papers, controlled by Russian businessman Evgeny Lebedev, had challenged the decision.

The Competition Appeal Tribunal stated on Friday that the government had missed a four-month window to ask the Competition and Markets Authority to launch a full investigation, as it had already passed information to the regulator on the deal in March.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport will now have to drop plans for any further intervention, unless it appeals against the decision by September 6.

Full Content: Financial Times

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