The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has written to Ofcom seeking further clarification on representations made over the Secretary of State’s decision to refer 21st Century Fox’s bid to Sky to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
The representations are said to raise both new evidence and offer comments on the Ofcom assessment.
Culture secretary Karen Bradley has said she is “minded” to refer the £11.7 billion bid to the CMA, but only on grounds of media plurality, rather than broadcasting standards. An earlier report from Ofcom declared Fox and its ultimate owners within the Murdoch family trust to be “fit and proper” owners of the broadcaster.
Subsequently a cross-party group of MPs including former Labour leader Ed Miliband, Lib Dem leader Vince Cable and the conservative Ken Clarke have accused Fox News of a “brazen disregard for the ethics of journalism”.
The latest criticisms against Fox News related to a report on the murder of Seth Rich, a democratic aide, wrongly accused of being the source of a series of leaked emails published by Wikileaks.
The Department has wants a response from Ofcom by August 25.