Fox takeover of Sky likely to undergo Government Investigation

£11.7 billion takeover attracting preditable regulatory interest

by Mark Hodgkinson Mar 3, 2017 at 2:36 PM

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    Fox takeover of Sky likely to undergo Government Investigation
    The Government today (3rd March 2017) has stated that the, Rupert Murdoch owned, 21st Century Fox takeover of Sky is likely to be investigated to ascertain if the proposition would serve the public interest.
    Most analysts – and anybody with a grain of common sense, in all honesty – had already expected the deal would come under the scrutiny of Ofcom, the independent regulatory and competition authority body, in what is likely to be a fairly controversial process.

    Twenty-First Century Fox, who already owns 39% of Sky, notified the European Commission of its £11.7billion offer to buy the remainder of the company; a figure which Sky is amenable to.

    The deal was first announced in December 2016, some five years after an earlier bid which came at the time the, also Murdoch-owned, News International group was embroiled in the phone hacking (and other) scandal(s), which scuppered the deal.

    Media Secretary Karen Bradley said she was inclined to intervene on two counts: first, to decide if any one company would then control too much of Britain's media, and second, whether the prospective new owners would have a genuine commitment to broadcasting standards.

    "This is not an announcement of my final decision in relation to intervention, but an indication of what I am presently inclined to do," she said.

    Those in opposition to the deal fear Murdoch, the owner of The Times and The Sun newspapers, would hold too much power in having full control of a TV group already in over 12 million British and Irish homes.

    James Murdoch - CEO of Fox and chairman of Sky - has previously said he expects the deal to pass through the regulatory process.

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