Sky-Fox deal not in public interest, says regulator

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Fox’s proposed takeover of Sky is not in the public interest on grounds of media plurality, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said.

The CMA, has provisionally found that if the deal went ahead as planned, it would give the Murdoch family too much control over news providers in the UK.

However, the CMA, found the deal would not be against the public interest on the grounds of broadcasting standards.

Disney has agreed to buy most of Fox’s business, so may end up owning Sky.

Disney’s proposed takeover, which still has to be approved by US regulators, includes Fox’s current 39percent stake in Sky.

And if the Sky-Fox deal does finally go through, the whole of Sky would be likely to transfer to Disney’s ownership.

Wide influence

Fox has been trying to buy the 61 percent of Sky that it does not currently own.

But the CMA decided that if this happened, the Murdoch Family Trust (MFT)’s control across all media platforms in the UK would give it too much influence over public opinion and the political agenda.

The MFT’s news outlets are currently consumed by nearly a third of the UK’s population across TV, radio, online and newspapers.

That is significantly greater than all other news providers, except the BBC and ITV.

 

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