I believe that a free, open and diverse press is vital to a healthy and vibrant democracy.
A takeover bid of this magnitude should always be properly and robustly scrutinised and it is important that this is done in a fully transparent and thorough manner. Earlier this month, the UK Government’s Secretary of State for Culture, Karen Bradley, asked the media regulator Ofcom and the competition regulator, the CMA, to explore the detail of the proposed takeover.
These investigations will examine whether the deal leaves sufficient plurality of the media and whether the commitment of the proposed takeover to attaining broadcasting standards objectives. I welcome this decision, which means that the proposed takeover will be examined in a wholly proper and non-political way, and I look forward to hearing of the findings of these reports when they are submitted in mid-May.