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Ofcom Sky ownership decision under fire from Avaaz

Written by Jessie Hamill-Stewart on 22 August 2017

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Campaigning group, Avaaz, has raised concerns about Ofcom’s decision to hand Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox the remaining 61% of Sky ownership, which they do not own already. The organisation has threatened Ofcom with a judicial review and to challenge the media regulator’s ruling that Sky would remain ‘fit and proper’ to hold broadcasting licence under the ownership of 21st Century Fox. Instead, Avaaz claims 21st Century Fox in ‘unfit and improper’ to hold a license.

The concerns grow from the fact that, if 21st Century Fox was to take over Sky, so would Rupert Murdoch. Avaaz claim that Ofcom’s judgement was fundamentally flawed, if not in part because they have ignored the role James Murdoch would play as Chief Executive of 21st Century Fox.

It has also been pointed out that some research has to be done into the Murdoch family. Rupert Murdoch is a founder of Fox News, which has historically struggled to comply with the British broadcasting code.

Avaaz has hired solicitors, who have launched the first steps of judicial review of the £11.7 billion bid Murdoch made under 21st Century Fox for Sky. The solicitors have sent a letter to Ofcom, which has 14 days to respond before judicial review begins. They have acknowledged the arrival of the letter but have not yet responded.

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