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Rupert Murdoch will not offer new Sky deal to culture secretary

Rupert Murdoch will not look to strike a deal with the culture secretary, Karen Bradley, to make Sky News more independent and fast-track his £11.7bn takeover of Sky.

Bradley has given 21st Century Fox, which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch and his sons Lachlan and James, until Friday to offer further concessions to attempt to prevent the deal being referred to the Competition Markets Authority for further scrutiny.

The lack of concessions from Murdoch will simplify Bradley’s review of the submissions her department has received since announcing last month that she is “minded” to refer the deal because of concerns that they will have too much control of news media in the UK.

This makes it highly likely that the culture secretary will just have time to announce that she is calling in the CMA before parliament breaks for summer recess at the end of next week.

In June, Bradley told Fox she believed the deal – which would mean the Murdochs control the Times, Sun, Wall Street Journal as well as Sky News and the rightwing Fox News – should probably be subjected to an in-depth investigation following advice from Ofcom that it raises significant media plurality concerns.

Fox will make a submission to Bradley that will criticise Ofcom’s review process and conclusions, but will not look to offer a remedy to strengthen the editorial independence of Sky News further to try to avert...


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