Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Murdoch forced to wait for the inevitable consolidation of Sky

Murdoch forced to wait for the inevitable consolidation of Sky

Rupert Murdoch's Fox already owns 39% of satellite broadcaster Sky and is seeking to buy out the rest.

The owner of Sky News, which is awaiting a decision on a takeover of the business by 21st Century Fox, said like-for-like revenue rose 5% to £3.3bn - aided by 161,000 customer additions across the group which includes the UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy and now Spain.

Sharon White, Ofcom chief executive, has defended the decision made by the regulator over 21st Century Fox's proposed takeover of Sky. (FOX), which has agreed to take full control of Sky, in a deal now being scrutinized by United Kingdom regulators.

On September 20, 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. Among the key areas are how the Murdoch Family Trust's control over Sky News might change after a merger; what potential influence the MFT would have on the political agenda; and Fox, Sky, the MFT and News Corp's approach to corporate governance.

Gilbert's comment was a reference to allegations of sexual and racial harassment at Fox News.

"And our judgement was that the behaviour, particularly at Fox News, was extremely serious and disturbing".

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"Minority shareholders at Sky would be better served by a truly independent chairman", said Ashley Hamilton Claxton, the firm's corporate governance manager.

Additionally Conservative MP, Rebecca Pow asked whether the regulator had sufficiently scrutinised the deal, White said: "I am absolutely confident we did a professional, independent, expert job".

The takeover, which is now being scrutinised by the Competition and Markets Authority on public interest grounds having been cleared by regulators in all the other countries in which Sky broadcasts, values the whole of the company at £18.5bn.

Dame Patricia Hodgson, the Ofcom chairman, added: "We feel strongly about the integrity of news in this country".

Unsurprising the subject of BT and its negotiations with Ofcom, with the objective of boosting investment in the country's high-speed broadband network.

She said Ofcom was "very much holding Openreach [the BT division that runs the UK's broadband network] to the fire" and said early signs of an improvement in service were "reasonably positive".

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