The authors welcome the opportunity to respond to Ofcom’s invitation to comment on the application of the public interest test to the proposed Sky/21st Century Fox transaction. There already exists an abundance of evidence relating to Sky’s news production and distribution, as well as the prominence of its news content and that of the other news companies run by its senior management, which raise media plurality concerns in relation to this deal.1 We trust that Ofcom will be diligent and creative in assessing the risks to media plurality in terms of citizens’ access to news and information, going well beyond consumption data and perhaps revising its “share of references” metric. However, the role of media in our society is not solely the provision of news and the representation of various groups and viewpoints within that news. It is also to provide a variety of content through which our norms, values, and identities are negotiated. Therefore our contribution will focus on two other issues that we believe are crucial to the media plurality public interest test and have broader implications: (1) Sky’s position as an internet service provider (ISP), and (2) the relationship between this public interest test and the concurrent “fit and proper” test. The response affords separate consideration to (3) the scope of the ‘commitment to broadcasting standards’ public interest ground.
|Type||CCP Submission to Ofcom on Fox-Sky deal|
|Media of output||Consultation response|
|Publisher||Centre for Competition Policy|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 29 Mar 2017|
- Fox-Sky deal
- Public interest