CMA investigation into Fox Sky bid publishes scope of inquiry

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will investigate whether Rupert Murdoch would be able to control or influence editorial decisions at Sky News as part of its investigation into the £11.7bn Sky takeover bid, according to the Guardian.

The CMA has just published a document detailing the scope of the inquiry into the bid’s impact on media plurality and broadcasting standards. The power wielded by the Murdoch family if the bid to buy the 61% of Sky not currently owned by 21st Century Fox is successful will be within the issues considered.

The “genuine commitment” to broadcasting standards of Fox and Sky will be considered, along with the ability to “influence the political agenda” and ensuring that British media reflect “the range of viewpoints.”

Corporate governance and the treatment of employees both in the UK and abroad will also be under scrutiny.

The Sky takeover bid was referred to the CMA by culture secretary Karen Bradley last month. A three-month investigation by Ofcom had already found that there were concerns over media plurality but there was no reason to block the bid on grounds of broadcasting standards.

Anne Lambert, chair of the CMA panel said: “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.”