21st Century Fox's Sky Bid Facing Further Scrutiny by U.K. Regulator

Courtesy of Sky

The culture secretary cites "new evidence and comments" just days after there were calls for the U.K. government to deepen its investigation over allegations of Fox News' collusion with the White House.

21st Century Fox's planned deal to take full control of European pay TV giant Sky, in which it already owns a 39 percent stake, has hit another hurdle.

Just over two months after British culture secretary Karen Bradley cited competition, not editorial concerns, in her decision over the deal following a review by media regulator Ofcom, she is now seeking further advice from the regulator after she received "new evidence and comments."

In a statement, the ministry said Ofcom had been given a two-week window in which to respond and expected a reply by no later than 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," it said. "Any referral decision by the Secretary of State must be taken on the basis of a valid assessment of all the relevant evidence."

The news comes just days after calls for the U.K. government to deepen its probe into whether the Murdochs should be given full control of Sky following allegations that Fox News had fabricated a story in collusion with Donald Trump's White House. 

In May, Fox News reported that murdered Democratic aide Seth Rich had been identified as the source of the WikiLeaks email hack, a story that was used by Republicans to attack claims of Russian involvement in the presidential election. It later retracted the story, claiming that it hadn't been “subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting.”