UK: Fox’s Sky acquisition referred to CMA

On Tuesday, September 12, the UK’s Culture Minister Karen Bradley referred a proposed £11.7 billion (US$13 billion) merger between the Rupert Murdoch-owned 21st Century Fox and broadcaster Sky to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for review.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Bradley said that while the “legal threshold for a reference to the CMA is low,” she believed there could be a risk that the merger would “operate against the specified public interests.”

The CMA will take six months to investigate the merger before publishing its conclusions. Bradley cited concerns about media plurality as well as Fox not having adequate compliance procedures as reasons for the referral.

“The fact that Fox belatedly established such [compliance] procedures does not ease my concerns, nor does Fox’s compliance history,” Bradley said.

She had expressed concern about the merger in June, saying it “would give the Murdoch Family Trust material influence over news providers with a significant presence across all key platforms.”

Full Content: BBC News

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