UAE Telegraph/Spectator Bid Quashed by Legal Changes

It appears the bid for The Spectator and Th Telegraph from UAE-backed consortium Redbird IMI may have been quashed once and for all. At least in its current structure. (Full disclosure: I have contributed to both the publications involved in the bid.)

Sky News‘s Mark Kleinman tweeted that changes to the law are afoot that will impact the takeover.

The Redbird IMI bid is fronted by former CNN boss Jeff Zucker. It has been controversial from the outset due to the involvement of the Gulf state. As explained in The Guardian, there is plenty of discomfort amongst Conservative politicians about the takeover and members of the House of Lords have started to take action:

This week, Lady Stowell, the Tory chair of the Lords communications and digital committee, tabled an amendment to the digital markets bill that would give parliament a veto on foreign governments taking over UK media organisations. Her amendment will face a vote on Wednesday. More than 100 MPs led by the former minister Robert Jenrick have supported the amendment.

There are reports that both News UK and the owners of the Daily Mail are interested in taking over The Telegraph and The Spectator. The name of GB News investor Sir Paul Marshall is also in the mix. Both publications are prestigious and influential titles on the right of British politics. The decision over their final destination is still some way away.

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