, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

First the Trump-Murdoch-Reagan-Cohn nexis; then Tuesday’s raid; then the UK regulatory concerns about increasing the already huge influence of the Murdoch family upon the UK media. According to the UK Competition and Markets Authority, the Murdoch Family Trust’s “news outlets are watched, read or heard by nearly a third of the UK’s population, and have a combined share of the public’s news consumption that is significantly greater than all other news providers, except the BBC and ITN.

US President Reagan greeting Rupert Murdoch in the Oval Office. 1/18/83. (Ronald Reagan Library)
To understand Murdoch’s relationship with Trump, it helps to understand his relationship with one of the president’s predecessors in the White House, Ronald Reagan, with whom Murdoch enjoyed surprisingly close ties, facilitated and fostered by the same man who links him to Trump: Roy Cohn.” (“Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch: inside the billionaire bromance” by Lucia Graves, Read the article here: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/16/donald-trump-rupert-murdoch-friendship-fox-news )

Even the man who was found unconscious in the Trump Tower Inferno, and who was later pronounced dead in hospital, is linked to Roy Cohn and Trump through Andy Warhol: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2018/04/08/dead-art-collector-dealer-and-fire-at-trump-tower-tragic-accident-or-covering-tracks-before-mueller-gets-there/

Excerpts from Trump-Murdoch lawyer-mentor Roy Cohn’s complaint to the head of the US Information Agency, Charles Wick re Murdoch newspaper access to Reagan. It was written in April, several months after Reagan, Murdoch and Cohn had met together:

Roy Cohn is apparently referring to the January 1983 meeting, a matchmaking meeting?

Trump doesn’t consider Fox, owned by Trump’s long-time friend Murdoch, fake news. Beware that the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), and the New York Post are also Murdoch owned. Trump and Murdoch have known each other for decades and both were apparently close to Roy Cohn who acted as both mentor and lawyer. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/12/17/roy-cohns-men-mccarthy-the-mafia-trump-murdoch-roger-stone-manafort-the-john-birch-society-and-the-kochs/

According to Rasmussen Reports, “40% of all voters think Fox News should be the winner of the first annual Fake News Trophy./ CNN is in second place with 25% support, followed by MSNBC (9%), ABC (4%), CBS (3%) and NBC (2%). Six percent (6%) say the award should go to someone else, and 11% are undecided..” (See: “The Winner of the 1st Annual Fake News Trophy Is … “, November 30, 2017, Rasmussen Reports)

Roy Cohn standing and facing Reagan, 1/18/1983 meeting

Reagan meets with Murdoch, Roy Cohn, U.S. Information Agency Director Charles Wick and Thomas Bolan. 1/18/83 (Ronald Reagan Library)

Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Network arm raided in European Commission probe” 10 April 2018, http://www.bbc.com/news/business-43719925

European Commission – Fact Sheet
Antitrust: Commission confirms unannounced inspections concerning distribution of sports media rights and other related rights Brussels, 10 April 2018

The European Commission can confirm that on 10 April 2018 its officials carried out unannounced inspections in several Member States at the premises of companies active in the distribution of media rights and related rights pertaining to various sports events and/or their broadcasting.

The Commission has concerns that the companies involved may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices (Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). The Commission officials were accompanied by their counterparts from the relevant national competition authorities.

Unannounced inspections are a preliminary step into suspected anticompetitive practices. The fact that the Commission carries out such inspections does not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself. The Commission respects the rights of defence, in particular the right of companies to be heard in antitrust proceedings.

There is no legal deadline to complete inquiries into anticompetitive conduct. Their duration depends on a number of factors, including the complexity of each case, the extent to which the undertakings concerned co-operate with the Commission and the exercise of the rights of defence.” http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-18-3163_en.htm

Sky-Fox deal not in public interest, says regulator“, 23 January 2018, http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42785930
 The final report and decision are still pending.

Excerpted from:
CMA provisionally finds Fox/Sky deal not in the public interest
The CMA has today published the provisional findings from its in-depth examination of the proposed acquisition of Sky Plc by 21st Century Fox.
Published 23 January 2018
From: Competition and Markets Authority
Following a referral from the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating the deal on two grounds: media plurality and commitment to broadcasting standards.

The CMA has provisionally found that Fox taking full control of Sky is not in the public interest due to media plurality concerns, but not because of a lack of a genuine commitment to meeting broadcasting standards in the UK.

The media plurality concerns identified mean that, overall, the CMA provisionally concludes that the proposed transaction is not in the public interest.

Further detail is set out below.

Media Plurality

Media plurality goes to the heart of the UK’s democratic process and as such is given protection in law.

The CMA has provisionally found that if the deal went ahead, as currently proposed, it is likely to operate against the public interest. It would lead to the Murdoch Family Trust (MFT), which controls Fox and News Corporation (News Corp), increasing its control over Sky, so that it would have too much control over news providers in the UK across all media platforms (TV, Radio, Online and Newspapers), and therefore too much influence over public opinion and the political agenda.

The MFT’s news outlets are watched, read or heard by nearly a third of the UK’s population, and have a combined share of the public’s news consumption that is significantly greater than all other news providers, except the BBC and ITN.

Due to its control of News Corp, the Murdoch family already has significant influence over public opinion and full ownership of Sky by Fox would strengthen this even further.

While there are a range of other news outlets serving UK audiences, the CMA has provisionally found that they would not be sufficient to moderate or mitigate the increased influence of the MFT if the deal went ahead…..

3. The inquiry group has until 1 May 2018 to provide the Secretary of State its final report. The final decision regarding the questions addressed in the CMA’s report will be made by the Secretary of State following receipt of the report….

6. Fox is a Delaware corporation, listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. It is a global media company and currently holds approximately a 39% stake in Sky. Sky is a public company, listed on the London Stock Exchange. Like Fox, News Corp is a Delaware corporation listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. News Corp owns 100% of News UK and Ireland Limited (News UK was previously known as News International). Its portfolio includes The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun and The Sun on Sunday, all their respective websites and a number of UK radio networks including TalkSport and Radio UK.

7. The Murdoch Family trust (MFT) is the largest shareholder of Fox and News Corp, holding approximately 39% of shares in each.

8. Fox announced on 14 December 2017 it had agreed the sale to Disney of certain assets including its interests in Sky. It also announced it was continuing its proposed acquisition of the shares in Sky it does not own. Should both acquisitions be completed successfully Disney would assume full ownership of Sky, including Sky News. The sale to Disney will itself be subject to regulatory scrutiny and it is unlikely to be completed until after the CMA inquiry has concluded. It is therefore uncertain whether, when or how that transaction will be completed. As such, the CMA’s analysis of the Fox/Sky transaction cannot take it into account in its assessment of the transaction but implications of the Disney transaction in relation to remedies is considered in the notice of possible remedies.” https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cma-provisionally-finds-foxsky-deal-not-in-the-public-interest. OGL-Crown Copyright: https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/

Emphasis added throughout.