As exemplified in Fox News’ culture of sexual harassment and racial discrimination, there is an identifiable link between 21st Century Fox’s poor corporate governance and what is broadcast on the news outlets it owns.
Recent Russia-related coverage and commentary on Fox News and in The Wall Street Journal signify that the Murdochs and their news outlets continue to meddle in politics in damaging ways.
Regulators should be acutely aware that the line separating opinion and news programming at Fox News is nonexistent. The hiring of former White House national security aide Sebastian Gorka to a news position and a recent report from British broadcasting regulator Ofcom ruling that individual segments on Tucker Carlson Tonight and Hannity were in violation of broadcasting standards reinforce this fact. There are many more segments on Fox News programs from the last year that should be taken into consideration to assess 21st Century Fox’s commitment to broadcasting standards.
Sky’s warning that Sky News could close if 21st Century Fox’s bid is not approved is suspect at best. No evidence has been presented showing that Sky News’ closure was being planned before 21st Century Fox’s proposed acquisition.
The CMA should also consider that aside from Sky News, 21st Century Fox post-merger would have access to — and potentially take financial and political advantage of — information about consumers by way of internet service.