2 May 2017
This story is updated to reflect new timings.
Stop Murdoch’s Sky bid!
RUPERT Murdoch is bidding to buy up the remaining 61 per cent of shares in Sky TV that he does not already own. He tried this before, in 2011, and after a long and fierce campaign he was forced to withdraw the bid. The phone hacking scandal stopped him, but now he is back again.
Since the announcement of the new bid was made, campaigners, including the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom (CPBF), have been active in making sure that the application is referred to the media regulator Ofcom. More campaigning work has to be done. (See a motion to LFB's May Branch meeting on this.)
On 16 March Karen Bradley MP, the Culture Secretary, issued a European Intervention Notice (EIN), confirming that she is intervening in the Sky/Fox merger on the grounds of media plurality and commitment to broadcasting standards.
Ofcom will now prepare a report on the public interests specified including consideration whether Murdoch is a "fit and proper person" to hold a broadcasting licence. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will prepare a report on jurisdictional issues. The timetable for doing this has been stalled because of the calling of a General Election.
In the meantime the CPBF (to which London Freelance Branch is affiliated) is campaigning with others to stop him succeeding, and have recently published a four-page pamphlet The Answer is Still 'NO'. CPBF are appealing for donations from trade union supporters to further our campaign, to help with printing, distribution and general campaigning costs.