• 21st Century Fox announced plans to take over Sky in 2016. The deal was referred to the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) last September.
  • CMA said Tuesday the deal is “against the public interest” as it would give the Murdoch family too much control over UK media.

LONDON — The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has raised concerns about Sky’s planned takeover by 21st Century Fox, saying the deal would give media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his family too much control over the UK news media.

The CMA said in a statement on Tuesday that it believes the deal would be “against the public interest” because there needs to “be a sufficient plurality of persons with control of the media.” Rupert Murdoch is a majority shareholder of both Sky and 21st Century Fox and a merger would centralise his control.

The watchdog is concerned that the deal could “reduce the diversity of viewpoints available to and consumed by members of the public.”

“The specific concern is that the Transaction might reduce the independence of Sky’s news and current affairs content on Sky News, and this, in turn, could lead to a reduction in the diversity of viewpoints across the news and current affairs offerings operated by the media 6 enterprises controlled by the MFT [Murdoch Family Trust], including Sky News, The Sun, The Sun on Sunday, The Times, and The Sunday Times,” the CMA wrote.

“The Transaction might make it more likely that Sky News and the newspapers owned by News Corp could take a similar approach on specific topics or issues, push certain stories, or downplay others. These concerns do not rely on full editorial alignment, but rather the potential for increased editorial alignment.”

The CMA notes that the Murdoch family already have significant sway when it comes to influencing public debate in Read More Here