As Fox News attempts to gain complete ownership of British media outlet Sky News, a mountain of lawsuits stand in the way of this potentially lucrative expansion.
The latest lawsuit, by former D.C. homicide detective Rod Wheeler, is a blockade in the road to Murdoch’s long delayed, and long-lived dream of acquiring the $14 billion Sky Television.
Wheeler’s attorney, Douglas Wigdor is cranking up the pressure on Fox news and 21st Fox century — the parent company for Fox News– by accusing the media empire of not following the rules and regulations placed on British media. They claim that Fox’s content is not fit for the standards kept by the British Sky Network.
As per Wigdor, in his long eight-page letter; while the top executives and top-level management, especially the sons of Rupert Murdoch, James and Lachlan Murdoch were trying to convince the officials from Britain’s media regulatory agency, Ofcom, about the new governance policies, Fox News was allegedly conspiring with President Trump to promote the theory that murdered Democratic National Committee employee Seth Rich was the source of the Wikileaks DNC hacks.
Wigdor, who has represented almost two dozen clients against Fox News in cases about gender bias and racial discrimination, traveled to London in May to provide the evidence to Ofcom against Fox News. He wrote to the CEO of Britian’s media regulatory agency, Sharon White that, “In our complaint filed August 1, 2017 on behalf of Rod Wheeler, the allegations show that at the same time that [21st Century Fox General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer] Mr. [Gerson] Zweifach and the Murdochs were busy explaining that Fox had ‘cleaned house,’ Fox was generating a fake news story intended to influence public perception that Russian hackers were not responsible for the DNC email hacking, and that President Trump did not collude with the Russians during this election bid.”
Wigdor and other American attorney’s hard work seems to pay off as the British are now delaying the long sought after merger. Ofcom was expected to deliver its recommendation to Tony MP Karen Bradley, the secretary of state for culture, sport, and media in Britain, back in June, but the investigation into Fox News’ reporting practices has expanded. Bradley delayed the ruling to grant time for additional investigation after Wheeler’s accusations against Fox News, in order to make sure that the transaction would meet all of Britain’s numerous media regulations.
Similarly, a liberal media watchdog group in Britain called AVAAZ, and is against the Sky acquisition, and has vigorously protested the proposed merger of Fox and Sky, saying, “Fox News is a fake news factory that’s made a joke out of Britain’s broadcasting rules. The lies about Seth Rich and allegations of collusion with the Trump administration are a reminder that the British government’s first priority should be to protect our democracy from the Murdochs. If the British government does not investigate these scandals before ruling over the Murdoch’s bid for Sky, it could find itself on the wrong end of legal action.”