CMA says hey to Murdoch & Co.

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DAVOS-KLOSTERS/SWITZERLAND, 30JAN09 - Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, News Corporation, USA; Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2009 captured during the session 'Advice to the US President on Competitiveness' at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 30, 2009. Copyright by World Economic Forum swiss-image.ch/Photo by Monika Flueckiger

The Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox is looking to take over British broadcasting group Sky.

But first it needs to impress the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Investigation

Karen Bradley, the UK’s Culture Secretary, was widely tipped to refer the proposed deal to the regulator when it was first announced.

The CMA will now see how the acquisition will affect the UK’s media industry. For instance, how will a combined group, which owns newspapers, TV and radio channels, impact plurality?

It’s also going to look at the personalities behind the deal, notably the Murdoch family.

Look to America

Although the broadcasting regulator the Office of Communications ruled that the Murdochs were “fit and proper” broadcasting owners, events in the US are still taking their toll.

There’s been reports of sexual and racial harassment at Fox News, a 21st Century Fox subsidiary. Then there’s questions over the company’s role in a fake story about a political aide’s murder. These troubles have pushed Bradley to ask the CMA to reexamine broadcasting standards at the group.

Been here before?

The Murdochs have tried to take over Sky before.

However, the UK’s phone hacking scandal torpedoed the planned deal.

Although this time, it looks likely to go ahead.

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