Rupert Murdoch’s media company has hit a roadblock in its bid to consolidate 21st Century Fox and Sky. Karen Bradley, Britain’s secretary of state for culture and media has referred the matter to Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority. Bradley wants to know whether the mogul, his family, and other Fox executives were “genuinely committed” to maintaining high broadcast standards; the concern being that the Murdochs will gain too much influence over British media, since they already own several British newspapers.
Fox executives had been hoping to do the deal quickly. The company presently owns 39% of Sky and has offered $15 billion to buy the remaining 61%. Sky provides TV service in Britain, Ireland, Germany, Austria, and Italy.
Also of concern to British officials is that Fox didn’t take seriously issues of sexual harassment within Fox News until after a high-profile anchor, Gretchen Carlson, sued the former chairman of Fox News, Roger Ailes, in 2016.