Should Murdoch's takeover of Sky be blocked?

  • The culture secretary, Karen Bradley, has referred Murdoch's takeover of Sky to Ofcom:


    https://www.theguardian.com/bu…-murdoch-sky-bid-uk-ofcom
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    Murdoch created the satellite tv industry in this country, why is this nonsense still rumbling on?


    Live on BBC Parliament now or on the parliament tv website.

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  • Labour MP Chris Bryant has just quipped that Sky now make four times more money than the BBC....perhaps it hasn't dawned on him that the BBC don't "make" any money, they are given it....

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  • European Commission competition authorities have cleared 21st Century Fox to buy the 61% of broadcaster Sky that it does not yet own.

    The Sky takeover is still in the hands of Ofcom, but Murdoch is further along the path now in gaining full control of Sky with the clearance being given by the European Commission to the deal.


    Should we be worried that all "our" media assets are being gobbled up by foreigners?


    And as said before, should Ofcom block this?

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  • Shows how much I know I thought Murdoch already owned Sky.


    I always have thought Murdoch to be a bit dodgy anyhow, the phone hacking by his newspapers and he is probably the reason the Leveson report got ignored by his buddys at Westminster. ;)

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • TBQH I don't care who owns the company so long as it delivers what the punters want. Nobody seems to be too upset about the BBCs virtual monopoly on news and current affairs.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • The main reason I will never sign up to the likes of Sky is the fact you still get adverts despite having to pay a subscription.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • Shows how much I know I thought Murdoch already owned Sky.


    I always have thought Murdoch to be a bit dodgy anyhow, the phone hacking by his newspapers and he is probably the reason the Leveson report got ignored by his buddys at Westminster. ;)

    In effect, he's always controlled the company, but Sky as we know it today, was formed from a merger of two companies: Murdoch's Sky and British Satellite Broadcasting. which is why the merged company was called BSkyB for ages.


    BTW: The government is to make it's decision on the takeover within a week:

    Culture Secretary Karen Bradley will reveal whether she plans to refer 21st Century Fox's proposed takeover of Sky for a fuller investigation by 29 June.

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  • TBQH I don't care who owns the company so long as it delivers what the punters want. Nobody seems to be too upset about the BBCs virtual monopoly on news and current affairs.

    I think there is a difference between perceived monopoly and actual monopoly.


    As far as news goes, I disagree that the BBC is dominate, it's just that they're accessible, we know them, overall we trust them, even if they do have a bias to the left.


    For TV news, there are lots of choices, even on Freeview:


    BBC

    Sky

    RT

    Al Jazeera


    Go onto satellite and cable and you can add scores more like:


    CNN

    Euronews

    Fox News

    CNBC

    Bloomberg

    France 24 and others


    On the internet, the choices are vast:


    BBC and all the ones above, but also:

    Reuters (the actual provider of lots of our news), their main website is free

    Huffington Post

    Times

    Telegraph

    Indy

    Guardian

    and scores more newspaper sites from here and around the world.

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  • I do remember what happened to BSB, I know Sky will stop at nothing to destroy whatever it sees as competition.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • The main reason I will never sign up to the likes of Sky is the fact you still get adverts despite having to pay a subscription.

    It's expensive too.


    The main reason I ditched Sky was a technical one.


    With the arrival of their mini dishes for digital tv, we were promised no more picture problems as it's all ones and zeros now. But the pictures were still being beamed down from satellite and things such as heavy rain could affect the signal. We have zero tolerance in my household for such things, if we want to watch tv, we don't want to be met with a signal lost message, so I eventually ditched Sky about seven years ago.


    I've always had cable and I eventually added Freeview too.

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  • I have one of those Smart TVs which has Freeview plus I can access BBC iplayer, ITV hub, All 4, Demand 5 and Amazon Prime so I am never short of anything to watch, Amazon Prime I pay for, but that includes a lot of movies, TV series and Amazon exclusive series as well as next day delivery on a lot of stuff from Amazon.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • Same as me Ron, I have Netflix too.


    I am looking forward to seeing what Sky do with their IP service next year. It will supposedly be their full tv service but delivered over cable, so I may well drop VM at that point.

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  • The Culture Secretary said she is "minded to" refer Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox takeover of Sky to the competition watchdog. Karen Bradley's decision is a blow to the media mogul's hopes of having the £11.7bn deal waved through without further scrutiny. Mr Murdoch already owns 39% of the satellite broadcaster.

    Takeover bids goes to competition authority

    ====


    That's a blow to Murdoch. All the sex scandals at Fox News hasn't helped in his long held quest to regain full control of "his" company.


    Perhaps we're coming to the end of the era with media moguls controlling everything??

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  • Karen Bradley, the culture secretary, has made a statement to parliament today.


    She is still minded to refer the takeover to the competition authorities for a phase 2 investigation on plurality grounds only, not on broadcasting standards. The question of whether the Murdoch's are a fit and proper owner for Sky is not a matter for her to judge, she said, but Ofcom might like into it.


    She said she has received numerous documents from the Murdoch's, but despite these, she has not changed her mind. She may make a decision over the summer break on whether the merger will be refereed to the CMA (Competition & Markets Authority) or not.


    Tick tock. At least Vince Cable can't get involved this time round:


    Vince Cable to become Lib Dem Leader

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  • 21st Century Fox's bid to buy Sky faces further hurdles after the culture secretary said she was "minded" to refer the deal to regulators over concerns about broadcasting standards.


    Karen Bradley had already said she was minded to refer the £11.7bn tie-up over concerns about media plurality.

    What was originally expected to be a "cakewalk" for the Murdochs in their long held quest to regain full control of Sky, is now looking much more unlikely.


    Bradley said before that she was minded to refer the takeover to competition authorities based on media plurality, but despite saying the exact opposite in July, (see above) Bradley is now saying she maybe minded to refer the takeover on whether Fox's corporate governance is good enough. Meaning whether the Murdochs are fit and proper owners considering the scandals at Fox News and the phone hacking allegations against The News of the World.


    What do people think? Will the Murdochs get their hands on Sky in the end, or are we seeing the beginning of the end of this media mogul family in the UK?

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  • The bid by 21st Century Fox to buy Sky will be referred to competition regulators in the "coming days", Culture Secretary Karen Bradley has confirmed.


    The deal is facing a much fuller examination than initially expected.

    It will be assessed "on media plurality and genuine commitment to broadcasting standards grounds," Ms Bradley said.

    The Competition and Markets Authority will provide its response within 24 weeks of the referral.

    After months of "being minded", looks like Brady is finally going to refer this deal to a full CMA probe.


    What do people think, will Murdoch's deal get approved, or could this be the beginning of the end of the Murdochs in the UK?

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  • Sky has threatened to shut down Sky News if the news channel proves to be an obstacle in Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox bid.


    Regulators are investigating the deal amid concerns that Mr Murdoch's media empire could become too powerful.


    Sky told the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that the regulator should not assume "the continued provision" of Sky News.

    Murdoch Jnr has decided he's going to play hard ball to try and get this deal through, will he succeed?


    Could another reason for this seemingly urgent need to gain control of Sky be related to the news that the Murdoch's are seeking to sell most of their global company to Disney, see here: Disney may buy Fox. Is Murdoch throwing in the towel?


    Murdoch Jnr, who unlike his father, had his origins in news, he has no such sentimental attachments to news. Is his threat credible to sell Sky News to get the deal passed? It looses money and by his own words, "profit, above all else" is his number one driver.

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  • Fox has just announced its results and said that it's takeover of Sky has been cleared in every country that Sky operates apart from the UK. It expects the deal to happen by the 30th June 2018.

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  • In the Disney takeover of Fox announced today, see the other thread, Disney said that Fox would complete its takeover of Sky before the Disney deal completes. Now that Sky will ultimately be owned by Disney, I would expect Fox's takeover of Sky to now get cleared.

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  • ..... well, I called that one wrong, didn't I!!


    Disney said that if Fox were unable to purchase all the rest of Sky it doesn't already own, it would simply make a direct bid for Sky itself.


    Now that the Murdoch takeover of Sky is blocked "provisionally" lets see if Disney do actually make a bid for Sky or not. Of course, they don't now have to wait for their takeover of 21st Century Fox to be cleared, so a potentially bid could come quite quickly from them.


    With Disney about to launch its own streaming service to take on Netflix, what benefit is there to Disney of buying a satellite tv business?

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  • What does "blocked provisionally" mean? Could it mean that CMA would allow Murdoch to buy the rest of Sky and own all of it, provided he then sells the whole of Sky to Disney? It's a bit like a buyer paying the vendor of a leasehold property to buy that property from the freeholder/landlord, whereupon the buyer is then able to buy the vendor's property which is now freehold. That kind of deal (either to freehold or to extend a lease) is quite normal and lawyers can make it a binding contract between vendor and buyer, conditional on the lease being extended or enfranchised into freehold. In this case the binding contract is between the vendor (Murdoch), the owner(s) of the remaining Sky shares and the buyer (Disney). All money, offered shares and signed contracts would be held in escrow by the lawyers until the British government followed through on its undertaking to allow the sale and change of ownership. Getting the Government's "promise" is not enough, as Paul Reichmann found out to his cost when Margaret Thatcher did not keep her promise to provide transport infrastructure if he proceeded with Canary Wharf - for the first few years what he built ended up as an un-sellable no-man's land - one can easily imagine how much flakier and untrustworthy any such undertaking would be under the dead sleight-of-hand of Theresa May).


    I think Disney's reason for acquiring Sky would be fivefold:


    1) it's a prestigious asset.


    2) it's a nice earner


    3) Disney's ownership image and track-record would be less of a liability than Murdoch's when politicians start bitching about media plurality versus monopoly


    4) Sky is already big across Europe and that might serve Disney's ambitions


    5) Disney's intention to operate a streaming service to compete with Netflix could be within the aegis and resource of Sky. In the short-to-medium term, Sky-Disney would be catering to two markets (Sky-Plus as it is right now and Sky-Plus with streaming. Better to allow a degree of self-cannibalisation between these two Sky-Disney businesses than have a competitive streaming company do the devouring.

  • What does "blocked provisionally" mean?

    We'll get the final answer in May, at which time it'll probably be unblocked. It's all a load of nonsense now anyway.This deal will ultimately be decided by an American regulator, not a British one as part of the wider purchase of Murdoch's companies by Disney.


    As regards to your comments about the money being held in escrow, I'm sure Murdock or some other media company, was involved in a similar transaction before. The government "held" onto the shares until the final transaction went through.


    Not sure what you mean about Canary Wharf. I had a wander around the Isle of Dogs in 1991 just as the original buildings had been constructed and companies moving in. The DLR was built a few years prior to that and was working as were local buses. If you mean a proper tube system, then yes, that came much later with the Jubilee line and of course Crossrail is about to start, but there was transport infrastructure there to serve Canary Wharf, although I agree, beyond the initial estate, it was a total wasteland at the time.


    Now, back to Murdoch/Disney:


    5) Disney's intention to operate a streaming service to compete with Netflix could be within the aegis and resource of Sky. In the short-to-medium term, Sky-Disney would be catering to two markets (Sky-Plus as it is right now and Sky-Plus with streaming. Better to allow a degree of self-cannibalisation between these two Sky-Disney businesses than have a competitive streaming company do the devouring.

    Agree with all your points, but this is the most important one.


    Disney will launch its own streaming service and its better to get customers from Sky's existing satellite tv service than lose them to Netflix or Amazon.

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  • Disney will launch its own streaming service and its better to get customers from Sky's existing satellite tv service than lose them to Netflix or Amazon.

    Thanks for the heads up on this topic. It's interesting. On the streaming side of things I was just thinking that if and when Disney acquires 100% of Sky, might it make sense for Disney to be positioned as an owner/partner brand with Sky (I mean enough consumers will know that anyway), in which case Disney could market its streaming service both within and outside the Sky operation. Thus, Disney adds a new element to Sky's repertoire, strengthening and modernising Sky which is, after all, now a Disney asset, while also selling its streaming operation independently of Sky - just different tariff packages - that's all I really meant

  • My understand is, based on what Disney currently say, is that they will launch their own branded service, so that if/when Disney take over Sky, the Disney branded service would be separate to Sky's and independent to theirs. But of course Disney don't own Sky yet, things may change when they do own them and they could launch a Disney branded service within Sky's ecosystem, or simply use Sky's branded service.


    If I were Disney, I would launch a Sky branded service throughout the world, as the name is short and catchy, but that's just me. The Disney brand should be only used for what it was originally intended for and that's children's/family entertainment.

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  • If I were Disney, I would launch a Sky branded service throughout the world, as the name is short and catchy, but that's just me. The Disney brand should be only used for what it was originally intended for and that's children's/family entertainment.

    I couldn't agree more. A Disney-branded serious movie drama would be a classic case of cognitive dissonance. Moreover, I don't think Disney has ever seriously attempted to venture beyond children/family entertainment. They take their un-seriousness very seriously. If after acquisition Disney did decide to sprinkle its pixie dust over Sky, they could ruin their acquisition. So my notion of Disney using Sky to broaden its image beyond family/children is probably stupid and would prove to be, at best, an expensive hard slog, at worst, would fracture Sky's image.

  • Disney as a company is far more than kids/family entertainment and that's been the case for a very long time. One of their major earners is their premium sports channel, ESPN, as but one example.


    Remember to separate the company from the actual brand.

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  • More recently, I've mostly spoken about this topic in the media mergers thread, but at 1.30 this afternoon, the government is expected to make an announcement on whether Murdoch will be allowed to take full control of Sky before selling it to Disney.

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  • Matt Hancock, the media secretary, has just essentially greenlighted the takeover, pending issues with the independence of Sky News.


    He is concerned that Murdoch will have too much influence over Sky News and wants further guarantees from Murdoch that Sky News will remain independent of Murdoch's and/or Disney's/Comcast's influence in the future and there is sufficient funding for the channel.

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  • Big day for Sky today and yesterday. I'll talk about yesterday in the media mergers thread in a minute.


    The government, with a new secretary of state only appointed two days ago after the Boris Johnson/David Davis resignations, is expected to fully agree to the Murdoch takeover of Sky today.

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  • The UK government has cleared a proposed deal for Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox to buy Sky.

    The British broadcaster has been the subject of a fierce bidding war between Fox and US cable giant Comcast.

    Comcast's bid has already been cleared, and Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said Fox can go ahead if it sells Sky News.

    Well, this decision brings this the subject of whether Murdoch should be allowed to control Sky to a end now and this thread with it.


    The new culture secretary has only been in his job a few days, but no doubt he still had a look over the bid before agreeing to this. If Murdoch were to keep Sky for himself, he's not, but he would've been required to sell Sky News as part the agreement with the government to gain full control of Sky. That is all irrelevant now anyway, as Sky will either be bought by Disney, Comcast or someone else. I don't know why the government has wasted all this time over this matter.


    What is 100% certain now is that Sky will be bought, by whom is unclear yet, but that's for the media mergers thread.

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