Moments after Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox had formally asked the European Union to approve its $14.4Bn takeover of pay-TV giant Sky on Friday, the UK government has said it is likely to investigate the acquisition to assess issues of media plurality
After Fox filed an intent to EU antitrust regulators to take over the 61% of shares in Sky that it does not already own, UK Culture Secretary Karen Bradley indicated that she had “concerns” and was deciding whether to issue a public interest intervention notice. She now has officially 10 working days to decide whether to do so, meaning the deal could be scrutinized by regulatory body Ofcom to investigate issues of media plurality and whether the companies “have a genuine commitment to attaining broadcasting standards objectives.”
“I have, today, written to the parties to inform them that I am ‘minded to’ issue a European intervention notice on the basis that I have concerns that there may be public interest considerations,” said Bradley in a statement released shortly after Fox formally notified the EU of the bid.
“To be clear – I have not taken a final decision on intervention at this stage. In line with the guidance that applies to my quasi-judicial role I am inviting written representations from the parties and will aim to come to a final decision on whether to intervene in the merger within 10 working days of today’s notification.”
Full Content: Wall Street Journal
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