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The government wants to stop foreign countries from owning the majority of British media, which could cause problems for Jeff Zucker's attempt to buy The Telegraph

Photo by: NDZ/STAR MAX/IPx 2018 President of CNN Jeff Zucker attends the 2018 Time 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 24, 2018 in New York.

Conservatives plan to prohibit foreign state majority ownership of British newspapers, which might stop Jeff Zucker from buying The Telegraph and The Spectator with the help of a company connected to the ruling family of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The amendment to the […]

Telegraph

Jeff Zucker says the newspaper will still have editorial independence after he buys it. (Photo by: NDZ/STAR MAX/IPx)

Conservatives plan to ban foreign state majority ownership of British newspapers, which could stop the planned purchase of The Telegraph and The Spectator. The Telegraph and The Spectator by former CNN chief Jeff Zucker, who is supported by a company connected to the ruling family of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Culture Minister Lord Parkinson will announce the amendment to the Digital Markets Bill on Wednesday, which aims to protect press freedom and the independent operation of UK news outlets. Lord Parkinson in the House of Lords, aims to fortify press freedom and the sovereign operation of the UK’s news outlets.

The exact wording of the amendment is not known yet, but it is being pushed by a united rebellion of Tory politicians against Zucker’s attempt to buy the two main newspapers.

The purchase is being made by RedBird IMI, a partnership between Zucker’s RedBird Capital fund and International Media Investments (IMI) of Abu Dhabi, which is mostly funded by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE’s vice-president.

The law may still allow deals with foreign state involvement that doesn't lead to control or significant influence, which might give RedBird IMI a chance to make a new offer with less UAE stake.

Journalists and politicians have raised concerns about the impact of the Redbird IMI deal on press freedom.

Although Zucker has promised to protect the newspaper's editorial independence if he succeeds in buying it, saying IMI is just a passive investor, Sunak’s Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer stopped the deal in December when she issued a Public Interest Intervention Notice (PIIN), leading to investigations by Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into the deal’s impact on press freedom.

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