After reviewing representations on 12 September the Secretary of State announced her latest minded-to decisions on whether to refer the merger to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on grounds of media plurality and commitment to broadcasting standards.   

Following confirmation from the parties that they would not be making substantive representations in response to the minded-to decision on broadcasting standards, the Secretary of State reached a final decision to refer on both grounds and issued her formal referral to the CMA for the Phase 2 investigation on 20 September.

From the point of referral, the CMA will have 24 weeks to investigate the merger and provide advice to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will then come to a final decision on whether or not the merger can proceed, including any conditions that will apply in order for the merger to proceed.

The timetable for the investigation can be found here: