Thank you for contacting me about 21st Century Fox's proposed purchase of Sky.
As you are aware, Sky has received an approach from 21st Century Fox to acquire the 61 per cent share of Sky that it does not already own.
Under the powers set out in the Enterprise Act 2002, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has a quasi-judicial role that allows her to intervene on the basis of specified media public interest considerations.
Following the publication of reports by Ofcom as well as representations from interested parties, on 29 June the Secretary of State released her initial minded-to - not final - decisions on whether to refer the merger to a full phase two investigation.
After reviewing representations on 12 September the Secretary of State announced her latest minded-to decisions on whether to refer the merger to the CMA on grounds of media plurality and commitment to broadcasting standards.
Following confirmation from the parties that they would not be making substantive representations in response to the minded-to decision on broadcasting standards, the Secretary of State reached a final decision to refer on both grounds and issued her formal referral to the CMA for the Phase 2 investigation on 20 September.
From the point of referral, the CMA will have 24 weeks to investigate the merger and provide advice to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will then come to a final decision on whether or not the merger can proceed, including any conditions that will apply in order for the merger to proceed. Given the quasi-judicial nature of this matter, this decision cannot be guided by the Parliamentary timetable. The Secretary of State has made clear that she will return to the House at the earliest possible opportunity to provide an update.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.