Ed Miliband: Evidence against the Murdoch’s Sky bid growing
The evidence against Rupert Murdoch’s bid to buy all of Sky is growing after a litany of scandals in both America and the UK, according to the former Labour party leader.
Writing in the Guardian, Ed Miliband pointed to the phone hacking scandals that forced the closure of the News of the World and Fox News’ recent sexual assault scandals, which forced the resignation of the network’s of their biggest names, Bill O’Reilly.
Mr Miliband said the deal should be reviewed as the takeover would usher in the “foxificiation” of Sky News.
“Fox News has played a major role in polluting the well of public conversation in the US, stirring division and hatred,” Miliband writes.
“The case for referral is overwhelming, based on the record of Fox News as well as the total failure of corporate governance in the Murdoch empire revealed by what happened at the News of the World and at Fox.
“The secretary of state must have a proper inquiry into these dangers. If she does not and we end up with Sky becoming more like Fox, it will be her responsibility.”
The Culture Secretary has already revealed she is considering referring the deal on the grounds of media plurality, after Ofcom raised concerns about how dominant the Murdoch’s would become in British life.
Karen Bradley is expected to announce as early as next week whether the government will refer 21st Century Fox’s £11.7bn bid for Sky to the Competition and Markets Authority for a six-month investigation.
A spokesperson for Fox pointed to the multiple channels owned by their parent group, Fox Networks Group, to show they were capable of juggling different editorial demands: “Ofcom, the independent media regulator, has conducted a thorough review and has reached unequivocal conclusions about 21st Century Fox’s genuine commitment to broadcasting standards.
“21st Century Fox has been a licensed broadcaster for over 20 years in the UK and continues to hold a number of licences including for its National Geographic, Star and Fox Networks Group channels.
“As the founding shareholder of Sky, 21st Century Fox, has believed in Sky for over 25 years and is proud of the journalistic tradition of Sky News, which has been one of the great innovators.”