Fox bid for Sky ‘raises plurality concerns’

The UK competition watchdog has ruled that 21st Century Fox’s proposed takeover of Sky raises plurality concerns but does not impact broadcasting standards.

Its provisional findings come just over a year after Fox, which already owns 39% of Sky, agreed a deal to take over the remainder of the company that it does not already own.

The proposed takeover of Sky, owner of Sky News, values the whole of the company at £18.5bn.

The CMA has been investigating the deal on the grounds of media plurality and commitment to broadcasting standards.

It has cleared the takeover on broadcasting standards grounds.

But the CMA said: “The media plurality concerns identified mean that, overall, the CMA provisionally concludes that the proposed transaction is not in the public interest.”

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The watchdog identified three possible ways of addressing these concerns: by halting the deal altogether, finding “structural remedies” such as spinning off or divesting Sky News; or by insulating Sky News from the influence of the Murdoch Family Trust.

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