Last month the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport referred Fox’s proposed takeover of Sky to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on public interest grounds.
The transaction would bring the share of Sky held by Fox up from 39 per cent to 100 per cent.
The CMA will now examine how the deal would impact media plurality and broadcasting standards in the UK.
“The CMA will use its extensive experience of investigating different issues in a wide range of sectors to thoroughly and impartially investigate the proposed takeover of Sky Plc by 21st Century Fox,” said panel chair Anne Lambert. “Once the investigation is complete we will report back to Karen Bradley for her to make a final decision.”
It said it would investigate media plurality and whether there would be sufficient plurality of persons following the transaction. Also included is whether the ability of the Murdoch Family Trust to control editorial decisions at Sky News would change.
There is concern at the measures that Fox News had in place for media compliance prior to its withdrawal from the market earlier this year. A report found that actions to improve the approach were only put in place once Ofcom expressed concerns.
The CMA is required to complete its report within six months.