More Bad News for Rupert Murdoch’s Sky Takeover Bid

Rupert Murdoch’s long-delayed ambition to acquire all of Europe’s profitable Sky Television hit another snag on Tuesday when the Britain’s Conservative government asked regulators to consider new allegations against Fox News. In a letter to Ofcom, the agency that regulates the U.K.’s communications industry—and initially concluded that Fox News and its Murdoch-controlled parent company, 21st Century Fox, passed the “fit and proper” test—Tory MP Karen Bradley, secretary of state for media, culture and sport, directed Ofcom to revisit that conclusion, and report back by Aug. 25. “After assessing the large number of representations made in relation to the Secretary of State’s referral decision, a number of these raise new evidence and/or comment on the Ofcom assessment,” Bradley’s office said in a statement—a reference to allegations contained in a barrage of lawsuits filed in the United States. “Ofcom took a ‘see no evil, hear no evil’ approach to investigating the Murdochs and their fake news factory Fox News,” said a spokesperson for the public advocacy group Avaaz, which opposes Fox’s $14 billion  bid to increase its stake in Sky from 39 to 100 percent. “Under pressure from Avaaz and others, Secretary Bradley is beginning to see just how flawed that approach was.”

—Lloyd Grove