Thank you to those constituents who have contacted me about 21st Century Fox's proposed purchase of Sky.
As you are probably aware, Sky has received an approach from 21st Century Fox to acquire the 61 per cent share of Sky that it does not yet already own.
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 the basis of specified media 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 16th March, 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, 21st Century Fox and many other third parties. If you would like to read her statement to the House, you can do so here:
This decision will now trigger action by Ofcom to assess and report on the public interest grounds specified and for the Competition and Markets Authority to report on jurisdiction. They each have 40 working days to prepare and provide these reports, which means they will be sent to the Secretary of State by Tuesday 16th May. At that point, the Secretary of State will resume her decision-making role.