Proposed takeover of Sky by 21st Century Fox

Some constituents have written to me regarding the proposed takeover of Sky by 21st Century Fox. 

I agree that the Culture Secretary should refer the bid to Ofcom once the Government receives formal notification of it, to assess whether it would result in too much media power being concentrated in too few hands. They must also assess whether Rupert and James Murdoch are 'fit and proper persons' to run a broadcaster.

When Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation sought complete ownership of BSkyB five years ago the House of Commons united behind a motion calling for the bid to be withdrawn in the public interest. The concerns were not only about the serious wrongdoing being uncovered in the phone hacking scandal but about the concentration of media power and ownership in fewer hands.

Late last year, as soon as possible after Sky announced it had received an approach from 21st Century Fox, Labour asked an Urgent Question in the House of Commons, forcing the Government to make a statement. The Government was rightly pressed to refer the bid to Ofcom. It must be prepared to stand up to powerful interests and ensure that this proposed deal is properly and independently scrutinised.

I will continue to follow any developments closely.

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