UK: Ofcom to report back on $12.5bn 21st Century-Sky deal on Tuesday

Ofcom is due to report back on 21st Century Fox’s proposed $12.5bn takeover of UK broadcaster Sky on Tuesday.

The UK broadcast regulator has been looking at whether or not Rupert Murdoch’s Fox would be a “fit and proper” owner, as well as if any deal would give the 86-year-old billionaire too much control of the media.

Fox already owns 39% of Sky and it’s bidding for the remaining 61%, while Murdoch’s News is also the owner of The Sun and Times newspapers.

Ofcom wants to know what effect full Fox control could have on Sky and the British media generally.

To this end, it is likely to look at Fox’s record on broadcasting standards, while it will also investigate whether allowing Murdoch to increase his stake in Sky could reduce media plurality.

Fox has reportedly argued that Sky’s good record of compliance with on-air rules and the rise of internet news means there should be no objections on these ground.

As hinted at earlier, the other strand of the regulators review will look to determine if Fox would be a “fit and proper” owner.

Ofcom has allegedly sought detailed information surrounding the ongoing harassment scandal at Fox News, with regulators interested in the allegations themselves as well as the firm’s response to them.

Full Content: New York Times

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