Sep 12, 2017

UK cites Fox News as hurdle to Rupert Murdoch’s Sky deal

UK culture secretary Karen Bradley said she was likely to refer 21st Century Fox's bid to seize full control of Sky to competition regulators on the grounds of both media plurality and broadcasting standards, widening the scope of the investigation and plunging Rupert Murdoch's £11.7bn takeover into fresh uncertainty. In a statement to MPs on Tuesday afternoon, Ms Bradley said new evidence alleging corporate failures and concerns over broadcasting standards at Fox News had changed her mind and warranted further scrutiny by the Competition and Markets Authority. Highlighting two areas of concern; corporate governance failures at Fox and lack of procedures of broadcast compliance for Fox News in the UK, Ms Bradley added that on both counts the deal warranted "Further consideration". Fox News has been beset by a series of racial and sexual harassment scandals in the US, which have resulted in the departure of a string of top executives, including the late chairman, Roger Ailes, and the Fox News anchor, Bill O'Reilly. In August a new lawsuit filed in the US alleged that Fox News colluded with the Donald Trump administration to "Disseminate fake news" on the murder of the Democratic aide Seth Rich.

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