Last week the European Commission confirmed that it had received formal notification of the proposed merger. Karen Bradley says there are grounds to intervene on both media plurality and commitment to broadcasting standards objectives.
However, at this stage an intervention is not a foregone conclusion and the two companies have two weeks to make further representations before a final decision is made.
Since the takeover was first announced in December, the Department for Culture Media and Sport has received 50 letters in direct connection with the takeover and another 8,700 in connection with the Leveson enquiry into press ethics, which references the merger.
Key to the concerns is the influence of the Murdoch Family Trust, which would increase its holding in Sky to around 39% from the present 15%, and any influence it might then hold over Sky News.
Any plurality test by media regulator Ofcom would take in TV, radio and print. Fox argues its influence is less than at the time of Sky’s bid for a minority stake in ITV in 2007.