Culture Secretary Karen Bradley has said she is ‘minded to’ refer 21st Century Fox’s takeover of Sky plc to the Competition and Markets Authority.
Ms Bradley disclosed her initial decision on the deal to MPs after receiving reports from regulators on the plan by Fox to pay £11.7bn for the remainder of Sky, owner of Sky News, that it does not already own.
She said she planned to refer the decision for a full-blown review by the CMA on the grounds of media plurality, based on findings by Ofcom.
But Ms Bradley said she was minded not to refer the takeover to the competition body for an investigation on broadcasting standards, again reflecting Ofcom’s findings.
A separate assessment, also by Ofcom, concluded that if taken over by Fox, Sky would remain a “fit and proper” holder of broadcasting licences.
The Secretary of State said she had given the parties until 14 July to make representations on her “minded to” decisions.
Fox already owns 39% of Sky and tabled a proposal before Christmas to buy the remainder of the company for £11.7bn, valuing the whole of Sky at £18.5bn.