Does Fox bid for Sky give Murdoch too much power?
BRITAIN intends to subject Rupert Murdoch’s takeover of European pay-TV group Sky to a lengthy in-depth investigation after finding the $14.8 billion (R192.18bn) deal risks giving the media mogul too much power over the news agenda.
Media secretary Karen Bradley said she was persuaded that 21st Century Fox’s bid could give the Murdoch family too much influence over the media, after regulator Ofcom assessed the impact of the deal.
“The proposed entity would have the third largest total reach of any news provider – lower only than the BBC and ITN – and would, uniquely, span news coverage on television, radio, in newspapers and online,” Bradley said.
Murdoch, 86, and his family have long coveted full control of Sky, despite the damaging failure of a previous attempt in 2011 when their British newspaper business became embroiled in a phone-hacking scandal which forced them to abandon that bid.
A public inquiry into the affair revealed deep ties between Murdoch and the political establishment, making the renewed bid potentially toxic for Prime Minister Theresa May’s government which is fighting for survival after losing its majority.
Bradley had asked regulators to examine whether Fox would have too much control of the media. – Reuters