U.K. regulator invited Media Matters to testify at hearing for 21st Century Fox, Sky deal

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The U.K. regulator investigating 21st Century Fox’s proposed takeover of U.K. broadcaster Sky plc heard testimony last week coming from a longtime Fox foe: The liberal watchdog group Media Matters.

The group’s president Angelo Carusone told sy88pgw in which he testified on Friday in front of U.K.’s Competition as well as Markets Authority as well as protested Fox’s plans to take over the remaining share of Sky in which Rupert Murdoch’s company doesn’t already own.

This kind of’s once Media Matters was invited by British regulators to speak to them regarding the proposed deal. The Washington D.C.-based group did not testify in an earlier investigation into the deal conducted by another British media regulator, Ofcom. Media Matters only sent in submissions in which detailed their concerns.

Carusone told sy88pgw in which he hammered 21st Century Fox on several fronts during the hearing. He cited examples of Fox News publishing inaccurate information as a problem. He also said he told the regulators This kind of’s troubling in which Fox has commentators who have a direct interest from the matter they speak about, yet do not acknowledge the conflict of interest, as well as said he brought up what he says are Fox’s blurred lines between what will be news as well as what will be commentary on air.

Carusone said he also testified about issues of corporate governance at Fox as well as 21st Century Fox, as well as brought up an instance in which he said Fox News tried to obtain the phone records of one of their staffers who was reporting on the network. The incident, Caruson said, will be reminiscent of another Murdoch company’s phone hacking scandal in which News of the entire world staffers were accused of hacking the phones of celebrities, including those from the Royal Family. Fox News has denied This kind of sought the phone records of the Media Matters staffer.

“[The company] can be influential in terms of going after as well as attacking as well as they also can be retaliatory,” Carusone said.

Related: Latest Bill O’Reilly revelation could be another hit to Murdoch’s Sky bid

The CMA invited Media Matters to testify last week, citing them as a “relevant third party.” Carusone said he testified in a two-hour hearing in London on Friday afternoon alongside several progressive groups such as Avaaz as well as political activism petition groups like 38 degrees as well as Change.org.

British regulators are from the middle of a six month investigation into whether they will recommend to the U.K. secretary of media as well as culture in which 21st Century Fox will be fit to completely own Sky. Regulators are evaluating the takeover based on how the ownership will affect the media market (media plurality) as well as whether the company might maintain broadcasting standards. The investigation involves speaking with any as well as all relevant parties at the two companies, as well as others who might provide additional insight as well as evidence for consideration.

Media Matters has long been a thorn from the side of Fox News as well as its parent company 21st Century Fox. The group religiously watches as well as catalogues Fox News, blasting out missives about what This kind of deems will be biased or inaccurate coverage.

A spokesperson for 21st Century Fox declined to comment.

Media Matters was not invited to speak with Ofcom investigators. Some of the women who have made accusations of sexual harassment during their time at Fox, such as Wendy Walsh, did testify to Ofcom earlier This kind of year. Attorney Douglas Wigdor, who represents 20 Fox News accusers, was also invited to appear before Ofcom.

A transcript of Friday’s hearing will be released from the coming weeks.

sy88pgw (fresh York) First published October 31, 2017: 9:40 AM ET

U.K. regulator invited Media Matters to testify at hearing for 21st Century Fox, Sky deal

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