As part of their review, British regulators scrutinized whether 21st Century Fox met the country’s broadcasting standards and whether the 11.7 billion pound, or $14.9 billion, takeover unfairly hampered the British media landscape. They also evaluated whether 21st Century Fox executives were “fit and proper” to retain broadcasting licenses in the United Kingdom.
The timing is awkward for Mr. Murdoch and other 21st Century Fox executives, including his sons, James and Lachlan. They have tried to put an end to a sexual harassment scandal at Fox News that led to the ouster of its top host, Bill O’Reilly, and a chairman, Roger Ailes, yet those issues have arisen in the British review.
It is also likely to renew criticism that Rupert Murdoch holds too much sway over the British media, which he has denied.
James Murdoch, chief executive of 21st Century Fox and the chairman of Sky, said last month that he was confident the proposed transaction would be completed by the end of the year.
Here’s what you need to know about the British review, and how it may affect the Murdochs and plans for 21st Century Fox.
What is the review about?
Two politically independent British regulators — the Office of Communications, or Ofcom, and the Competition and Markets Authority — were asked by the government to review 21st Century Fox’s proposed takeover of Sky soon after the deal was announced in December.
Much of the focus has centered on Ofcom’s investigation. It looked at whether the takeover would limit the types of media access British consumers would have and whether 21st Century Fox executives met the country’s broadcasting standards.
In a separate but connected review, the regulator also determined if 21st Century Fox’s management, particularly James Murdoch, were “fit and proper” to retain Sky’s broadcasting licenses. Ofcom will publish details of its ruling by June 29.
The “fit and proper” point represents…