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UK probe into Fox-Sky deal to assess Murdoch influence

AFP  |  London 

A investigation into a planned takeover of TV giant Sky by Rupert Murdoch's Fox will assess the tycoon's influence on the country's political landscape, regulators said today.

Overall, Britain's Competitions and Markets Authority will assess the impact of the Murdoch family's proposed deal on both broadcasting standards and media plurality, the CMA said in a statement.


The deal -- worth 11.7 billion pounds (USD 15.4 billion, 13 billion euros) -- would see entertainment group 21st Century Fox buy the 61-per cent of pan-European satellite TV company Sky it does not already own.

The British last month referred the takeover for an in-depth probe to the CMA.

Today the regulator set out the scope of the investigation, with a final report due early next year.

The CMA will seek to prevent "any one media owner, or voice, having too much influence over public opinion and the political agenda", it said in the statement.

The regulator's probe will scrutinise the ability of the Murdoch Family Trust (MFT) to "control or influence editorial and commercial decisions" at Sky News, a 24-hour channel broadcast from London.

It will assess also the current state of plurality within the media, and the commitment to accuracy in newspapers controlled by the MFT's Corp division, including The Times and The Sun.

Additionally, Fox's record of corporate governance and treatment of employees will come under scrutiny.

Anne Lambert, who is chairing the probe, said the CMA would "thoroughly and impartially investigate the proposed takeover".

communications watchdog Ofcom has said it found no grounds for blocking Fox's bid in regard to broadcasting standards, although it did raise media plurality concerns.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, October 10 2017. 20:02 IST
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