Much controversy is swirling around news media circles in the United Kingdom, as Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox hopes to take control of Sky, a television company operating in the UK. The anticipated transaction was slated to finish longer than two months ago, but has faced several hurdles standing in the way of completion.
United States civic rights organization Avaaz has recently called upon United Kingdom regulators to revisit the deal, as Ofcom, the United Kingdom’s news media and communication regulator, already approved the stumbling transaction several months ago. Avaaz believes that because Rupert Murdoch already owns a sizable share of United Kingdom – and American – news media sources, obtaining full ownership of Sky does not meet the fit and proper test.
21st Century Fox owns a sizable share of Sky of 39%, and has for some years. Murdoch, via international news media group Fox, hopes to acquire the remaining 61% of Sky’s voting stock, allowing Murdoch full control of Sky, yet another media source in the UK. Avaaz noted in a fresh press release that the UK’s Ofcom primary evaluation of the $14.94 billion deal was “fatally flawed by material errors,” among other sentiments in opposition of regulatory approval and Fox obtaining too much control of English-speaking media sources.
Avaaz hopes to obtain minutes of Fox’s communications with regulatory body Ofcom, including talks between Ofcom and UK culture secretary Karen Bradley. Bradley has publicly announced that she will soon request the Competition and Markets Authority to review the deal, evaluating whether Rupert Murdoch will own too many news media agencies if it finalizes. To know more about Avaaz click here.
Avaaz was founded in New York in 2007 by several successful, well-known advocates for public trust. The group boasts membership in over 190 countries, totaling an impressive 44,000,000 Avaaz members. Avaaz distributes their viewers and calls to action across the world in seventeen unique languages, spread across every continent other than Antartica – so, virtually the entire world.