On Thursday 16 March 2017 the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport issued a European Intervention Notice confirming that she is intervening in the merger on the two grounds of media plurality and commitment to broadcasting standards. Following this notification, the Secretary of State asked Ofcom to review the effect of the proposed transaction on two considerations:
The plurality consideration: whether the transaction may be expected to result in insufficient plurality in the number of persons with control of media enterprises in the UK; and
The broadcasting standards consideration: whether Fox and Sky would remain genuinely committed to broadcasting standards following the transaction.
Ofcom was required to report by 20 June 2017 to the Secretary of State on the effect of the transaction on the public interest considerations. The report contains advice and recommendations that may be relevant to the Secretary of State’s decision as to whether to refer the transaction to the Competition and Markets Authority for further assessment.