21st Century Fox / Sky merger inquiry

The CMA has investigated the anticipated acquisition of Sky Plc by 21st Century Fox, Inc on the grounds of media plurality and a genuine commitment to broadcasting standards.

ME/6668/17

Phase 2

Administrative timetable

Date of referral: 20.9.17

Statutory deadline: 1.5.18 (with 8 week extension)

Contact

For general enquiries please contact FoxSky@cma.gsi.gov.uk

Final report

5 June 2018: Following receipt of the CMA’s report, which was sent to DCMS on 1 May 2018, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has accepted the CMA’s recommendation that the anticipated acquisition was not in the public interest due to media plurality concerns, and accepted the CMA’s recommendation that the most effective and proportionate remedy is for Sky News to be divested to a suitable third party. As part of this decision, the CMA’s report has been published.

Provisional Findings

23 January 2018: The CMA has provisionally found that Fox’s anticipated acquisition of the shares in Sky it does not already own is not in the public interest. This provisional finding is due to media plurality concerns, but not because of a lack of a genuine commitment to meeting broadcasting standards in the UK.

Evidence

The publication of the evidence of any party on the CMA’s webpages does not indicate in any way endorsement by the CMA of the views expressed in the evidence or acceptance of that evidence. Publication in this way is designed to assist public understanding of the issues.

Response hearing transcripts and summaries

Response to provisional findings

Responses to remedies notice

Hearing transcripts and summaries

Further submissions

Roundtable discussion on media plurality

Substantive responses to issues statement

Initial submissions

Issues statement

10 October 2017: The issues statement sets out the scope of the investigation. It outlines initial theories on what might adversely affect the 2 public interest considerations – media plurality in the UK and a genuine commitment to broadcasting standards – but it does not set out findings or conclusions.

Working arrangements between Ofcom and the CMA

CMA staff disclosure

Inquiry group appointed

20 September 2017: The CMA has appointed the inquiry group.

Anne Lambert (Inquiry Chair), Sarah Chambers, John Krumins, Tim Tutton.

Terms of reference

20 September 2017: The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has referred Fox’s acquisition of Sky to the CMA for a phase 2 in-depth investigation on the grounds of media plurality and a genuine commitment to broadcasting standards.

Phase 1

Timetable

Phase 1 date Action
20 September Referral made by Secretary of State
20 June 2017 Deadline for the CMA to report to the Secretary of State
16 to 30 March 2017 Invitation to comment
16 March 2017 Secretary of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s European intervention notice

CMA reports to the Secretary of State

20 June 2017: The CMA has delivered its report on jurisdictional matters to the Secretary of State. For further information, please see the statement from the Secretary of State.

Jurisdictional matters: the CMA’s role

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will report on jurisdictional matters, that is whether arrangements are in progress or in contemplation which, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a European relevant merger situation. Further information on the CMA’s role is described in Mergers: Guidance on the CMA’s jurisdiction and Procedure (CMA2).

Media plurality and commitment to broadcasting standards: Ofcom’s role at phase 1

Ofcom’s role at phase 1 described in its Guidance note for public interest test on the proposed acquisition of Sky plc by Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. of 16 March 2017. Further background information is available on Ofcom’s website.

Further information and documents relating to the phase 1 investigation are available on the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport webpages on the proposed merger between Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. and Sky plc.

Published 16 March 2017
Last updated 5 June 2018 + show all updates
  1. Added link to the Phase 2 merger report sent by the CMA to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which has been published today following the announcement of his decision in Parliament (5.6.18).
  2. Information update on final report. Response to provisional findings added.
  3. Response hearing summary and responses to remedies notice published.
  4. proposed remedy offers published in 'responses to remedies notice' section.
  5. Response to remedies notice published.
  6. Responses and hearing summaries to provisional findings and letter to Ofcom regarding complaints data published.
  7. Published a revised remedies offer in the responses to remedies notice section.
  8. Responses to remedies notice published under 'Evidence'.
  9. Full provisional findings report published.
  10. Summary of provisional findings, notice of possible remedies and notice of extension published.
  11. Hearing transcripts and summaries, further submissions, roundtable discussion on media plurality submission, and letter to Ofcom published.
  12. Timetable updated.
  13. Hearing transcript and further submissions published.
  14. Hearing transcripts and summaries published.
  15. Hearing transcripts and summaries, further submissions, summary of non-substantive responses to issues statement, and letter to Ofcom published.
  16. Hearing transcripts and summaries, media plurality roundtable discussion details, and response to issues statement published.
  17. Substantive responses to issues statement and information request letters to Ofcom published.
  18. Issues statement, initial submissions, and information request letters published.
  19. Timetable and letter setting out working arrangements between Ofcom and the CMA published.
  20. Referral made by Secretary of State.
  21. CMA reports to the Secretary of State.
  22. Timetable updated.
  23. First published.