According to online news at the BBC, the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has referred News Corporation’s bid for BSkyB to the Competition Commission, following News Corp’s abandonment of its proposal to make Sky News an independent and separate company as part of its attempt to bid for a complete take over the satellite broadcaster.
News Corp said in its statement: “News Corporation today announces that it is withdrawing its proposed undertakings in lieu of reference to the Competition Commission with respect to its proposed acquisition of BSkyB.”
“Should the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport decide on this basis to refer the proposed transaction to the Competition Commission for a detailed review, News Corporation is ready to engage with the Competition Commission on substance.”
“News Corporation continues to believe that, taking into account the only relevant legal test, its proposed acquisition will not lead to there being insufficient plurality in news provision in the UK.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14112465
This renders News International’s closure of the News of the World as even more cynical. Conveniently they described their brand as ‘toxic’ and shut down the paper with one week’s notice. Now it appears that this repugnant act will allow Murdoch and his mucky management to claim there will be no risk to media plurality, even if he retains Sky News into the bargain. So his bid could win, even though it would then include Sky News embedded within BSkyB.
Mr. Cameron will find himself deeply unpopular if Murdoch walks away from the grotesque criminality his company indulged in to find himself in a better position as a result of this sort of skulduggery.