Rupert Murdoch’s bid to take full control of Sky will come under fresh scrutiny this week when an influential group of politicians meets with Ofcom to express their opposition to the tycoon’s latest takeover attempt.
Former Liberal Democrat business secretary Vince Cable said the group is set to approach the communications watchdog just days after sending a letter outlining concerns over alleged governance failures and a lack of transparency at Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.
“I, together with various people from different parties – Ken Clarke, Ed Miliband, Lord Falconer – have approached Ofcom and we are going to make representations to them,” he said.
Miliband’s office confirmed that the group has requested a meeting for this week.
Fox is aiming to seize control of the 61 per cent of Sky it does not own already and UK regulators have been given an extended deadline – now 20 June – to review the £11.7 billion takeover bid, in light of the 8 June general election. While the deal has been given the green light by EU regulators, Britain’s Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) and communication watchdog Ofcom have yet to complete their own investigations.
Once the CMA and Ofcom reports have been received, the culture secretary will have ten working days to decide whether to approve the deal or ask for a more in-depth report.
Murdoch’s bid comes five years after his last tilt at taking Sky over through News Corporation in 2011, when Cable served as business secretary.