Television

Fox-Sky deal: CMA to examine how it impacts plurality, standards, 21CF expects constructive review

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MUMBAI: UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has set out more details about what it intends to examine in its investigation into the proposed takeover of Sky Plc by 21st Century Fox, which owns STAR India.

21st Century Fox (21CF) has welcomed the publication by the CMA of the Issues Statement. "We look forward to the CMA process and engaging in a thorough and constructive review," it stated in a press release.

On 20 September, 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 sets out the proposed approach to assessing the impact of the merger. 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.

Anne Lambert, Panel Chair, said: Today (10 October) 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.

"Once the investigation is complete we will report back to Karen Bradley for her to make a final decision," Lambert stated.

The 21CF release added: Reference is made to the announcement made on 15 December 2016 by the 21st Century Fox Board and the Independent Committee of Sky that they had reached agreement on the terms of a recommended pre-conditional cash offer by 21st Century Fox for the fully diluted share capital of Sky which 21st Century Fox and its Affiliates do not already own. The full terms and conditions of the Acquisition are set out in the announcement which was published on 15 December 2016.

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