Jun 29, 2017

How Fox’s bid for Sky came under scrutiny

Fox argued in its submission to Ofcom that the rapid growth of the internet had created multiple new media outlets, which diluted the combined influence of Rupert Murdoch's newspapers and the Sky News channel. These include setting up a separate editorial board with a majority of independent members to oversee Sky News and a commitment to maintain Sky-branded news for five years at current funding levels. A CMA inquiry will now likely focus on a "Structural separation" of Sky and Sky News. This mirrors the approach taken during the last bid for Sky by News Corp in 2011, when former Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt approved the deal subject to a plan to spin off Sky News into a new company. That will spark concerns over the future of lossmaking Sky News, with Ofcom acknowledging that "An undertaking based on structural separation may lead to the risk of the scale of Sky News decreasing over time".

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