A group of high-profile politicians is planning to meet broadcast regulator Ofcom in the coming days to discuss its opposition to 21st Century Fox’s takeover of Sky.
Rupert Murdoch’s Fox agreed an £11.7bn deal for the 61 per cent of the British broadcaster that it does not already own at the end of last year.
Former Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable told City A.M. that he, ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband, Labour peer Lord Falconer and Tory Ken Clarke are set for a meeting with Ofcom on Tuesday.
They have previously voiced their opposition to the deal, claiming it would give Murdoch too much control over the UK’s news media and saying he was not a “fit and proper” owner.
An investigation by Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) was launched in March after referral from culture secretary Karen Bradley. They have until 20 June to report back after the deadline was pushed back due to the General Election.
A previous bid by Murdoch’s News Corporation to take full control of Sky was withdrawn in 2011, at the height of the phone-hacking scandal engulfing the company’s British Sunday tabloid, the News of the World.
The business has since been split up. News Corporation is a newspaper and publishing company, while 21st Century Fox is an entertainment business.
Meanwhile, it was reported on Monday that Fox is in talks with private equity firm Blackstone to buy US TV station operator Tribune Media. Sources told Reuters that final bids are due on Thursday and that Nexstar Media Group and Sinclair Broadcast Group are also considering bids.