Murdoch's Fox-Sky deal in hands of UK government

Murdoch's bid comes five years after his last tilt at taking the business over through News Corporation in 2011.

Culture secretary Karen Bradley today received reports from both United Kingdom telecoms regulator Ofcom and the Competition Authorities on whether the deal was in the public interest and if the directors of bidder 21 Century Fox are fit and proper persons to be United Kingdom broadcasters.

"It is clear we can not expect the Murdochs to maintain the highest standards of corporate governance, accountability and conduct that the British public and the world expect", said Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters for America, in an open letter sent to Ofcom's chief executive, Sharon White.

Bradley could also refer the matter to the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority for further review. (That date was shifted to today after British Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap general election on June 8).

The agency was tasked by the government in March with examining whether the deal would affect media plurality in the U.K. The regulator's report, thought to run to 100-plus pages, was delivered to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on Tuesday morning.

"The Secretary of State will now decide whether to refer the proposed deal to the Competition and Markets Authority for a "phase two" inquiry", the statement added.

Ofcom is examining whether the proposed takeover by 21st Century Fox, the owner of Fox News, will give Murdoch too much control of news media and whether the enlarged media group will adhere to existing standards of accuracy and impartiality. "There will then be an opportunity for representations to be made before I take a final decision", she said.

Bradley said in a statement that she would make an initial judgment on the case by June 29. He is now the editor of SEENIT and sister site STREAMEDTV.

  • Zachary Reyes