Avaaz is claiming the initial ruling made by Ofcom giving Sky the right to have a broadcasting license controlled by billionaire Rupert Murdoch is fatally flawed. Lawyers acting on behalf of Avaaz sent a letter to the United Kingdom’s Office of Communications stating the ruling had errors and asking for a fresh review. If the ruling holds Rupert Murdoch will acquire the remaining 61 percent of Sky currently not in his ownership. Avaaz believes Ofcom ignored relevant and significant evidence while using a legal standard that was irrational. They stated Fox representatives have a lengthy history of making statements that are false and are formally challenging the decision.
The Murdoch’s will be subjected to more scrutiny if the debate is reopened. They were recently scrutinized over the way they handled racial and sexual harassment allegations by the United States Fox News. Avaaz seeks the documentation related to the dealings of Fox with Ofcom in addition to the communications between the regulator and Karen Bradley. Bradley believes this would give the Murdoch family excessive control over the media in the United Kingdom and is seeking further investigation from the Competition and Markets Authority.
The opponents of the proposed deal also want the CMA to review the commitment Fox News has made to the standards of broadcasting. Bradley has received recommendations from Karen Bradley on these issues and has already given Sky the necessary clearance for the fit-and-proper test. This test is made by regulators and is considered an ongoing assessment. As the campaign director for Avaaz Bert Wander has stated numerous mistakes have been made by Ofcom in giving a clean bill of health to the Murdoch’s. He wants these errors set right and wants to see the meeting minutes between Fox, Ofcom, and the Murdoch family. Avaaz believes too much importance has been placed on what occurred in the meetings.