Thank you for contacting me regarding the proposed takeover of Sky plc.
Under the powers set out in the Enterprise Act 2002, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has a quasi-judicial role that allows her to intervene on public interest considerations. These considerations refer to the need for there to be a sufficient plurality of media ownership, for the availability of a wide range of high-quality broadcasting and for those with control of media enterprises to have a genuine commitment to broadcasting standards objectives.
On 16 March 2017, the Secretary of State issued a European Intervention Notice on the grounds of media plurality and commitment to broadcasting standards. This decision was made after hearing representations from Sky plc, 21st Century Fox and many other third parties. This decision triggered action by Ofcom to assess and report on the public interest grounds specified and for the Competition and Markets Authority to report by 20 June.
Following this, on 29 June, the Secretary of State released her preliminary position on whether to refer the merger to a full phase two investigation, which can be found by clicking here.
The Secretary of State then accepted further representations until 14 July. She will now consider the evidence received before coming to a final decision on both grounds of media plurality and commitment to broadcasting standards.
This is clearly an issue that people feel very strongly about, especially after the phone hacking scandal and previous failed bid in 2011. I am encouraged by the scrutiny that this bid is receiving from the Secretary of State.