Advanced Television

CMA sets out Fox/Sky investigation issues

October 10, 2017

By Colin Mann

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has set out more detail about what it intends to examine in its investigation into the proposed takeover of Sky by 21st Century Fox.

On September 20th, Karen Bradley, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport referred Fox’s proposed takeover of Sky to the CMA on public interest grounds.

The CMA will now examine how the deal would impact media plurality and broadcasting standards in the UK.

The issues statement – a detailed 22-page document – sets out the proposed approach to assessing the impact of the merger. It sets out the scope of the investigation. It outlines initial theories on what might adversely affect the two public interest considerations – media plurality in the UK and a genuine commitment to broadcasting standards – but it does not set out findings or conclusions.

Anyone wanting to provide submissions is invited to do so based on the areas and questions outlined in the issues statement.

“The CMA is required to report to the Secretary of State with its recommendations within six months of opening the investigation,” advised Anne Lambert, Panel Chair. “Today we set out the scope of our investigation and the issues on which we will focus. We now invite submissions on these specific matters so we can thoroughly examine the relevant evidence. The CMA will use its extensive experience of investigating different issues in a wide range of sectors to thoroughly and impartially investigate the proposed takeover of Sky Plc by 21st Century Fox. Once the investigation is complete we will report back to Karen Bradley for her to make a final decision.”

In response, a Statement from 21st Century Fox read: “21st Century Fox (21CF) welcomes the publication by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of the Issues Statement. We look forward to the CMA process and engaging in a thorough and constructive review.”

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