×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Group Opposed to Fox-Sky Takeover Files Legal Challenge Against British Regulator

An activist group opposed to 21st Century Fox’s bid to take over Sky has mounted a legal challenge seeking to nullify decisions made by British regulator Ofcom. Avaaz filed legal documents at the British High Court of Justice on Friday arguing that a new and wider investigation should be conducted into whether Fox would be a “fit and proper” owner of the pan-European pay-TV service.

Avaaz is seeking a judicial review of Ofcom’s conclusion, submitted in a report to the British government in June, that it could see no reason to reject the $15-billion takeover deal on the grounds that the Murdochs would not be a “fit and proper” owner of Sky. Fox, which already owns 39.1% of Sky, is seeking to acquire the remaining 60.9%.

“Repeated, large-scale scandals in the Murdoch empire indicate that something is very rotten at the core of their businesses,” Avaaz campaign director Alex Wilks said in a statement. “Ofcom didn’t dig deep enough before declaring the Murdochs fit to own even more of our media.”

The group had declared its intent to seek legal intervention in an Aug. 21 letter to Ofcom, which asked the regulator to withdraw its June report. The letter alleged that factual errors had been made in Ofcom’s assessment of sexual and racial harassment scandals at Fox, and that Ofcom’s test of what constitutes “fit and proper” was too narrow. The letter was submitted four days prior to Ofcom filing a second report to British Culture Secretary Karen Bradley.

Earlier this month, Bradley referred the takeover bid to the U.K. Competitions and Market Authority for a fuller investigation on “media plurality and genuine commitment to broadcasting standards grounds.” The inquiry is expected to take about six months.

If Avaaz is successful with the complaint filed Friday, the court could require Ofcom to start over with its investigation into the takeover bid and to carry out a more detailed review, looking at all parts of the Fox business. That could cause further delays for Fox, which is obliged by the takeover deal to pay Sky an additional £200 million ($268 million) if regulatory scrutiny is not completed by Aug. 15, 2018. Avaaz hopes the court will reach its decision before the end of the year.

More TV

  • A.P. BIO -- "Melvin" Episode 208

    'AP Bio' Canceled After Two Seasons at NBC

    “AP Bio” has been canceled at NBC. Series creator Mike O’Brien shared the news with fans on Twitter, writing that “This has been my favorite project of my life.” In the single-camera comedy, Glenn Howerton portrayed a disgraced Harvard philosophy scholar who lost out on his dream job and was forced to return to Toledo, [...]

  • James Holzhauer $2 million

    'Jeopardy!' Champion James Holzhauer Hits $2 Million Winnings Milestone

    This current “Jeopardy!” player has just won over $2 million on the popular game show. Who is James Holzhauer? The 34 year old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas has hit a “Jeopardy!” milestone by becoming only the second person in the show’s history to win over $2 million in regular season play. Holzhauer won [...]

  • Kanye West Shares a Memory of

    Kanye West Shares a Touching Memory of His Mother in Letterman Interview

    In a preview of David Letterman’s interview with Kanye West, which begins streaming next Friday, May 31, the musician’s wife Kim Kardashian West, tweeted a clip of him sharing a touching memory of his mother, Donda, who died in 2007 after a surgical procedure. While his wife looks on smiling, West answers Letterman’s question about [...]

  • CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism

    CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism Staffers

    CNN has laid off a handful of staffers from its health-journalism unit after deciding to place its health, climate and Southeastern newsgathering operations under a single aegis. ” As part of the normal course of business, our newsgathering team made a small restructure earlier this week that ultimately impacts 6-7 employees within CNN’s Health Unit,” [...]

  • Henry Ian Cusick

    'Lost' Star Henry Ian Cusick Signs With Buchwald (EXCLUSIVE)

    Henry Ian Cusick, best known for playing Desmond on the hit ABC series “Lost,” is signing with talent agency Buchwald for representation. Cusick also starred in the CW sci-fi/drama “The 100” and was most recently seen in the Fox series “The Passage.” His other notable television credits include “Scandal,” “24,” “Fringe,” “The Mentalist,” “Body of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content