Karen Bradley has retained her job as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport following UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s reshuffling of portfolios following the UK General Election which saw her Conservative Party secure the most parliamentary seats, but not an overall majority.
One of the most significant items requiring Bradley’s attention when she returns to office will be the takeover of Sky by 21st Century Fox. Fox has offered £11.7 billion (€14bn) to buy the 61 per cent of Sky that it does not already own. On April 21st, after May called the General Election, Bradley said she was giving Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) more time to investigate and recommend on the deal. She had intervened on the media public interest grounds of media plurality and commitment to broadcasting standards by issuing a European Intervention Notice (EIN).
She originally required Ofcom and the CMA to provide their reports by Tuesday 16 May. Once these reports were received, her decision-making role in the process would resume.
Given the proximity of this decision to the General Election and following discussions with the parties, Ofcom, the CMA and the Cabinet Office Propriety and Ethics team, she wrote to Ofcom and the CMA to extend the period by which these reports should be submitted to Tuesday 20 June. The revised deadline is expected to fall after the State Opening of Parliament.