Sunday 11 December 2016

Fox Makes Sky Bid Five Years After Hacking Scandal

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch swooped in with an £11.2bn offer to take full control of the satellite broadcaster Sky, five years after he was forced to abandon a similar deal amid public revulsion over the phone-hacking scandal.

The media mogul’s 21st Century Fox film and television group said it had reached an agreement in principle to buy Sky, which would bring together the company behind Fox News with the largest pay-TV broadcaster in Britain to create the most powerful media group in the UK.

Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians said the government had to intervene and demanded an inquiry on the grounds of public interest. Fox owns the controversial rightwing Fox News network in the US, while Sky News is a politically neutral service in competition with the BBC and ITV news.

Completing the deal, which values all of Sky at £18.5bn, would represent a long-held ambition for Murdoch and his son James, the chief executive of 21st Century Fox. Murdoch already owns 39% of Sky but was forced to abandon an attempt to take full control in 2011 after it emerged that journalists at the News of the World had hacked the phone of the murdered teenager Milly Dowler.

If the negotiations between the two companies lead to a definitive takeover offer being accepted, competition authorities must be notified and the secretary of state for culture, media and sport, Karen Bradley, will have to decide whether to ask the media regulator, Ofcom, to carry out a public interest test.

Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader and shadow culture secretary, warned of the “likely concentration of further media power in the hands of a single company” and said it would be incumbent on Ofcom and other competition authorities to ensure media plurality was upheld in the UK if the takeover proceeded.



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.