21st Century Fox notes today’s publication by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of its Provisional Findings Report regarding the Company’s proposed acquisition of the remaining shares in Sky.
The CMA said that the acquisition is not in the public’s interest as it would give the Murdoch family too much control of media in the U.K. The group also examined the Murdoch’s commitment to broadcast standards and found no concerns on that count. The CMA proposed spinning off or divesting Sky News, insulating Sky News from Fox’s influence, or blocking the deal as ways to deal with their concerns. As the Disney transaction will require other reviews, the CMA did not depend on the completion of the transaction in their review, however it would be a way for the Murdoch’s to have increase influence. Sky is part of the assets Disney would be acquiring.
21st Century released a statement saying, “Today’s provisional findings move our proposed Sky transaction forward to the next phase of the regulatory review process. We welcome the CMA’s provisional finding that the Company has a genuine commitment to broadcasting standards and the transaction would not be against the public interest in this respect. Regarding plurality, we are disappointed by the CMA’s provisional findings. We will continue to engage with the CMA ahead of the publication of the final report in May. We also note that the CMA has elected to avail itself of the statutory 8-week extension, moving its deadline for a final decision to May 1, 2018. We anticipate regulatory approval of the transaction by June 30, 2018.