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    Rupert Murdoch’s Sky bid could soon face UK investigation

    This is a discussion on Rupert Murdoch’s Sky bid could soon face UK investigation within the Sky news and announcements forums, part of the SkyUser Announcements category; https://www.theguardian.com/business...century-fox-eu Culture secretary expected to refer takeover to Ofcom after 21st Century Fox formally notifies EU competition regulator Rupert Murdoch’s ...

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      Rupert Murdoch’s Sky bid could soon face UK investigation

      https://www.theguardian.com/business...century-fox-eu
      Culture secretary expected to refer takeover to Ofcom after 21st Century Fox formally notifies EU competition regulator

      Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is expected to formally notify the European competition regulator of its £11.7bn takeover offer for Sky later this week, after which the UK culture secretary will have to decide whether to launch an investigation into the extent of Murdoch’s control of UK media.

      From the point the European commission makes Fox’s bid notification public, Karen Bradley will have 10 working days to decide whether to issue a public interest intervention notice, or PIIN.

      Bradley will have to examine what concerns, if any, are raised by the deal and she will look at areas including the potential concentration of media power and whether there needs to be a test to determine whether Fox is committed to the required editorial standards, such as accuracy and impartial news coverage.

      Fox’s deal to snap up the 61% of Sky it does not already own will give Murdoch control of Sky News and pay-TV operations in the UK, Germany, Austria and Italy.

      His ownership of UK news media also includes the Times, the Sunday Times and the Sun as well as radio group TalkSport, which he controls through a separate company, News Corp.

      Given the level of opposition to Murdoch’s first bid for Sky in 2011, which was eventually abandoned because of the fallout from the phone-hacking scandal that was engulfing his UK newspapers, Bradley is expected to refer the deal to media regulator Ofcom.

      If asked, Ofcom will carry out a public interest test on the deal, reporting back within 40 days. If there are no concerns, Bradley must clear the bid.

      If Ofcom raises concerns, however, she must decide whether to accept an undertaking from Fox to address them. In 2011, Murdoch’s bid for Sky resulted in a deal to spin off Sky News to quell media plurality issues before the takeover was abandoned.

      Murdoch’s son James, now chief executive of Fox and chairman of Sky, has already said he does not believe any “meaningful concessions” will need to be made to authorities this time round.

      European regulators have up to 25 days to look at competition issues but are almost certain to clear the takeover as they previously gave the greenlight to the original bid late in 2010, as well as Sky’s 2014 £7bn deal to buy its sister operations in Germany and Italy.

      In a submission to Bradley on Tuesday, the Media Reform Coalition and online activist network Avaaz called for Murdoch’s Sky bid to be rejected on competition grounds alone.

      The campaigners published new reseach which they claimed showed that the overall market shares of both Murdoch-owned newspapers as well as Sky remain “materially unchanged” since 2011, when media regulator Ofcom raised concerns about the previous takeover bid.

      Justin Schlosberg, chair of the coalition, said the situation in terms of media competition was “definitely no better than last time and probably worse”.

      In support he cited the fact that the Sun’s audience reach had increased after the removal of the paywall for its digital content despite declining print circulation; the increased reach for Sky television services through digital services such as Youtube; and research from Cardiff university last year that the newspapers had a disproportionate impact on broadcasters.

      Cardiff University research on coverage of the 2015 general election
      “demonstrates the influence of national newspapers – and News UK titles in particular – over the issue agenda of broadcasters including the BBC”, it said.

      An Ofcom investigation found in 2012 that Sky remained a “fit and proper” owner of a broadcast licence, despite the phone-hacking affair that embroiled its then parent company. However, it published a scathing assessment of James Murdoch – then the chief executive of his father’s UK newspaper group and chairman of Sky – finding that his conduct repeatedly fell short of the standards expected.

      Ofcom has the right at any stage to launch a new investigation. However, the regulator has had a chance to air any concerns about James Murdoch and Sky since it was announced he was returning as chairman in January.

      In October, he had to rely on the support of Fox, Sky’s largest shareholder, to win approval for his return after more than 50% of independent shareholders voted against his reappointment.

      Rupert Murdoch’s last bid brought together an unlikely alliance of media groups to oppose the deal including BT, the BBC, Channel 4 and the publishers of the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and Guardian.

      So far, only a number of Fox and Sky’s pay-TV rivals have said that they intend to voice their opposition to the alleged dominance the deal will give Murdoch bidding for top-flight sport, movies and TV shows.

      Fox could make formal notification to the the European commission as soon as Thursday, which happens to coincide with James Murdoch speaking at the annual Enders Analysis media and telecoms conference in London, although it could slip into next week.

      Fox and Sky declined to comment.


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      Re: Rupert Murdoch’s Sky bid could soon face UK investigation

      Good hope they throw it out its wrong for the business full stop.
      Disclaimer: The views expressed here are my own and in no way represent the views or policies of my employer.


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      Re: Rupert Murdoch’s Sky bid could soon face UK investigation

      Considering how close Murdock appears to be to Trump, I would have to say that the European Government should just throw it out.

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      Re: Rupert Murdoch’s Sky bid could soon face UK investigation

      Yep and I hope they do its bad for the business and competition and the name of Murdoch stinks and tarnishes the Sky brand.
      Disclaimer: The views expressed here are my own and in no way represent the views or policies of my employer.


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      Re: Rupert Murdoch’s Sky bid could soon face UK investigation

      Cant say I'm bothered about Murdoch to be honest.
      He has been with Sky since the beginning like I have, not seen any problems with it.
      One advantage I see is extra cash to wipe BT off the face of the earth, now that would be my ideal.

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      Re: Rupert Murdoch’s Sky bid could soon face UK investigation

      Yes Murdoch and his empire have been with Sky from the beginning. News International was behind the launch of Sky Television Plc back in 1989. Ok that company merged with BSB, but he's always remained an ever present influence.

      As for reputation, his UK papers have a terrible reputation. Hardly anyone one in Liverpool buys The Sun. Liverpool FC recently barred The Sun's sports writers from any news conferences, News of the World closed because of the phone hacking investigation.

      News International has previously tried to buy Sky when it was officially BSkyB. Now that what was BSkyB owns both the German and Italian arms too, the temptation is that much larger.

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      Re: Rupert Murdoch’s Sky bid could soon face UK investigation

      UK culture secretary 'minded to' refer Sky takeover to Ofcom

      https://www.theguardian.com/business...rt-murdoch-fox
      Karen Bradley to decide whether watchdog examines deal over media plurality and whether Rupert Murdoch’s Fox is ‘fit and proper owner’ owner

      The culture secretary has said that she is likely to refer Rupert Murdoch’s £11.7bn takeover bid for Sky to Ofcom to investigate issues of media plurality and whether Fox will maintain broadcasting standards at the pay-TV company.

      Karen Bradley, who has 10 working days from Monday to make a final decision on referring the deal to the media regulator, said that she is “minded to” issue an intervention notice to call in Ofcom to examine the deal.

      “I have, today, written to the parties to inform them that I am ‘minded to’ issue a European intervention notice on the basis that I have concerns that there may be public interest considerations,” she said, in a statement issued minutes after the European commission confirmed that Fox had formally notified it about the takeover bid.

      To be clear – I have not taken a final decision on intervention at this stage. In line with the guidance that applies to my quasi-judicial role I am inviting written representations from the parties and will aim to come to a final decision on whether to intervene in the merger within 10 working days of today’s notification.”

      Bradley said she was minded to intervene on the basis of two public interest grounds specified in the Enterprise Act.

      The first of these is whether Fox’s takeover will raise issues of UK media plurality and concentration in Murdoch’s control.

      The second is on whether Fox is committed to the required editorial standards, such as accuracy and impartial news coverage.

      “This ground relates to the need for persons carrying on media enterprises, and for those with control of such enterprises, to have a genuine commitment to attaining broadcasting standards objectives,” said Bradley.

      “This is not an announcement of my final decision in relation to intervention, but an indication of what I am presently minded to do.”

      Bradley said Fox and Sky have until 5pm on 8 March to make representations about the deal to the Department for Culture Media and Sport, with her final decision being delivered in the week commencing 13 March.

      If asked, Ofcom will carry out a public interest test on the deal, reporting back within 40 days. If there are no concerns, Bradley must clear the bid.

      If Ofcom raises concerns, however, she must decide whether to accept an undertaking from Fox to address them. In 2011, Murdoch’s bid for Sky resulted in a deal to spin off Sky News to quell media plurality issues before the takeover was abandoned.

      Murdoch’s son James, now chief executive of Fox and chairman of Sky, has already said he does not believe any “meaningful concessions” will need to be made to authorities this time round.

      “As we have previously indicated, we anticipate regulators will undertake a thorough review of the transaction, and we look forward to engaging with them as appropriate,” said a spokeswoman for Fox. “We ... are confident that the transaction will be approved based on a compelling fact set.”

      European regulators have up to 25 days to look at competition issues but are likely to clear the takeover as they previously gave the green light to the original bid late in 2010, as well as Sky’s £7bn deal in 2014 to buy its sister operations in Germany and Italy.

      Fox’s deal to snap up the 61% of Sky it does not already own will give Murdoch control of Sky News and pay-TV operations in the UK, Germany, Austria and Italy.

      His ownership of UK news media also includes the Times, the Sunday Times and the Sun as well as radio group TalkSport, which he controls through a separate company, News Corp.

      Tom Watson, Labour’s shadow culture secretary, said that the bid should have been referred for scrutiny “immediately and without equivocation”.

      “It is clear that Fox’s bid to take full control of Sky will significantly increase the size of the biggest media organisation in the UK and further concentrate power in the hands of a dominant industry player,” he said. “The culture secretary must now ensure MPs are given an opportunity to debate the deal before a decision is taken on whether to approve it.”

      An Ofcom investigation found in 2012 that Sky remained a “fit and proper” owner of a broadcast licence, despite the phone-hacking affair that embroiled its then parent company.

      However, it published a scathing assessment of James Murdoch – then the chief executive of his father’s UK newspaper group and chairman of Sky – finding that his conduct repeatedly fell short of the standards expected.

      Ofcom has the right at any stage to launch a new investigation. However, the regulator has had a chance to air any concerns about James Murdoch and Sky since it was announced he was returning as chairman in January.

      In October, he had to rely on the support of Fox, Sky’s largest shareholder, to win approval for his return after more than 50% of independent shareholders voted against his reappointment.

      “The public has serious doubts as to whether Rupert Murdoch is fit to take even more control over the UK’s media,” said Maggie Chao, from campaigning group 38 Degrees. “Memories of the phone hacking scandal are still fresh. That’s why more than 230,000 have signed a petition demanding the Sky deal is referred to Ofcom.”

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      Re: Rupert Murdoch’s Sky bid could soon face UK investigation

      The official government response, letters and documents posted yesterday on Gov UK;

      On 9 December 2016 Sky Plc announced that it had received an approach from 21st Century Fox to acquire the 61% share of Sky Plc which it does not already own.

      Under the powers set out in the Enterprise Act 2002, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport is able to intervene on the basis of specified media public interest considerations, which refer to the need for there to be a sufficient plurality of media ownership, for the availability of a wide range of high-quality broadcasting and for those with control of media enterprises to have a genuine commitment to broadcasting standards objectives. This responsibility is discharged in a quasi-judicial capacity.

      On 3 March 2017 the European Commission confirmed that it had received formal notification of the proposed merger following which the Secretary of State wrote to the parties informing them that she is minded to intervene on two public interest grounds - media plurality and commitment to broadcasting standards objectives.

      This minded to letter does not constitute a final decision. The parties have been invited to make further representations following which the Secretary of State will come to a final decision on whether to intervene and will aim to do so - in line with guidance - within ten working days of the merger being formally notified.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/collec...nc-and-sky-plc
      The Department for Culture, Media & Sport Minded to issue an EIN' letter that was sent to Fox and Sky;
      https://www.gov.uk/government/upload....pdfDepartment for Culture, Media & Sport
      Scubbie likes this.

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      Re: Rupert Murdoch’s Sky bid could soon face UK investigation

      While the money would be nice, the control most definitely wouldn't

     

     

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