SKY and 21st Century Fox takeover bid

Sky has stated that it received an approach from 21st Century Fox to acquire the 61 per cent share of Sky that it does not yet already own.

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Karen Bradley, has powers to intervene in certain media mergers on public interest grounds. These powers derive from legislation which also includes Government guidance on the operation of these public interest merger provisions.

Any transaction will be looked at on its merits, on a case-by-case basis. The guidance makes it clear that the Secretary of State will aim to take an initial decision on whether to intervene within ten working days of formal notification of the merger to the competition authorities, or of the transaction being brought to her attention. Ministers have stated that no such formal notification has yet been received.

While I understand constituents concerns, the role of the Secretary of State is a quasi-judicial one, and it is important that she acts independently and is not subject to improper influence. It would, therefore, be inappropriate for the Government to comment further at this time.