Sky "disappointed" at latest delay to Fox's takeover bid

Karen Bradley refers Fox  Sky takeover bid to the Competition and Markets Authority

UK Culture Secretary Karen Bradley has told Parliament she is minded to refer 21st Century Fox's £11.7B takeover bid for Sky to the Competition and Markets Authority for review on the grounds of media plurality and commitment to broadcasting standards.

On Tuesday she unexpectedly went even further and said she meant to refer the takeover for further investigation on the grounds that broadcasting standards at Sky could be undermined if the deal went ahead.

Ofcom had said it dealt with the issue of phone hacking when it conducted a "fit and proper" test in 2012, after Murdoch's previous attempt to take over Sky, and another one earlier this year.

Taking account of all relevant representations and Ofcom's advice, Bradley said she has "written to the parties to inform them I am now minded to refer the merger to the CMA on the grounds of genuine commitment to broadcasting standards".

MPs from across political parties, including former Labour leader Ed Miliband, had called for a CMA probe into the company's broadcasting standards in a letter last month.

Already at the time, Ms Bradley said that she had "concerns that there may be public interest considerations ... that warrant further investigation" before the deal is recommended. Adding Sky News to the mix would give the Murdoch family influence over a third of the news sources used in the United Kingdom, according to a June report by communications watchdog Ofcom.

The culture secretary said she had received 43,000 representations over the summer following her initial statement, few of which added substantial new evidence.

"These are matters the CMA may wish to consider in the event of a referral", Bradley said.


"Following receipt of any representations from the parties I will aim to come to my final decision in relation to both grounds as promptly as I can", she said.

And, in a change of view, she said she was also "minded" to refer it out of concerns about broadcasting standards.

Bradley said it was "important that entities which adopt controversial or partisan approaches to news and current affairs in other jurisdictions should, at the same time, have a genuine commitment to broadcasting standards here". However, I am not confident that weaknesses in Fox's corporate governance arrangements are incapable of affecting compliance in the broadcasting standards context.

Fox said it still expects the deal to close by June 30 2018, barring any "further delays" to the process.

Fox already owns a 39 percent stake in Sky, which operates in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy.

On 29 August in what was seen my many observers as a tactic to ease the bid, Fox News was pulled from Sky's United Kingdom grid.

Shares of Sky, which are valued at 1075p each under the proposed takeover, fell by 5% when Ms Bradley announced her decision to the Commons.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top 11-year-old boy, parents die in volcanic field in Italy
Sep 13, 2017 - 00:31
It is understood the couple's older son crossed a safety barrier at the Solfatara crater at Pozzuoli and fell in the hole. The dormant Solfatar last erupted in 1198 and has a shallow crater that emits steam with sulphurous fumes.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Eyes Turn to Difficult-to-Predict Hurricane Jose
Sep 13, 2017 - 00:31
It will initially move farther away from the United States before coming closer to the Bahamas and East Coast. Then, there's the lone model taking the storm through The Bahamas before making another Florida landfall.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Suspect in custody following active shooter situation at New Hampshire hospital
Sep 13, 2017 - 00:30
He said there was no continuing threat to the public and ignored reporters' questions as to whether anyone had been shot. The city's official website posted that a person was in custody who was believed to be involved in the shooting reports.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Hurricane Jose: Track takes weakening storm on an Atlantic loop
Sep 13, 2017 - 00:29
This watch includes includes Aiken, Calhoun, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland and Saluda counties. Flash flood emergency: The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for parts of downtown.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Light Drinking During Pregnancy May Not Affect Baby's Health, Study Finds
Sep 13, 2017 - 00:28
In reality, women must be informed of the risks of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, but this must be done strategically. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that there is "no safe level of alcohol use during pregnancy".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Everything you need to know about today's Apple Event
Sep 13, 2017 - 00:26
It lets users attend calls, send and receive messages, check locations in maps and more without touching their iPhone handsets. Apple says that it'll also offer Apple Music on the Apple Watch Series 3, letting you stream music directly to your watch .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Hope Hicks Officially Named White House Communications Director
Sep 13, 2017 - 00:25
Prior to joining Mr Trump's campaign team, Ms Hicks had no experience working in politics. She joined the Trump organization as the director of strategic communications.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Coutinho Could Return Against Sevilla Admits Jurgen Klopp
Sep 13, 2017 - 00:25
All those opponents are beatable and they should have additional motivation to win this first game against Sevilla at Anfield. But having returned to the Champions League group stages after a three-year absence, they'll want to focus on the positives.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Volkswagen Group will have electric option for all cars by 2030
Sep 13, 2017 - 00:25
The high-performance battery can be charged to 80 per cent of its energy capacity in 30 minutes using a fast-charging system. As the name suggests, Roadmap E puts Volkswagen on course for a future dominated by electric cars .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top India August Consumer Price Inflation Up 3.36% on Year
Sep 13, 2017 - 00:24
Looking ahead the GBP/USD exchange rate may climb again on Wednesday as the United Kingdom publishes its latest employment data. The UK's inflation rate climbed to its highest level in more than five years in August as the price of petrol and clothing rose.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Conte to shuffle his pack for Qarabag
Sep 13, 2017 - 00:22
He added: "It's normal when you have to play seven games in 21 days to rotate my players. The following year Juventus fell in the group phase. "We were at the start of our path".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Apple TV 4K promises highest picture quality on the market
Sep 13, 2017 - 00:16
Apple also announced that it will team up with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video for 4K HDR original content on iTunes. So it looks like Apple ended up coming out on top in their recent battle with studios over 4K home video pricing .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top UVA stays in top 25 of USA universities as VCU falls
Sep 13, 2017 - 00:10
News & World Report's national university rankings, visit https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities . NC State has been on a rankings roll in recent years, moving up 30 spots among national universities since 2010 on the U.S.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Angelina Jolie dazzles with her children on red carpet at Toronto premiere
Sep 13, 2017 - 00:07
Again I find myself typing the words, "It's an unquestionably worthy story, I just wish it was told with more inventiveness". Since her demise, Jolie has not done a lot of projects in front of the camera.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top American Midstream Partners, LP (AMID) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research
Sep 12, 2017 - 00:50
The institutional investor owned 2,195,494 shares of the pipeline company's stock after selling 43,944 shares during the period. Americafirst Management Limited Liability Corp owns 1,449 shares for 0% of their portfolio. 506 are owned by Assetmark.