Last updated: December 16, 2010 - 8:46am
Ofcom has found “potentially material public interest issues” in News Corp’s proposed bid for British Sky Broadcasting and its officials are likely to sit down with the two sides in a meeting over the next two or three days.
The broadcasting regulator has sent a so-called “issues letter” to both parties. Experts said that sending the document, known as an issues statement, did not necessarily mean that Ofcom was intending to recommend a referral of News Corp’s plans for a full review by the Competition Commission. The issues statement lays out concerns raised by interested parties, including commercial rivals, during a consultation period and invites News Corp to comment on them.
Ofcom is working on behalf of Vince Cable, the business secretary, to determine whether the proposed bid could have an impact on media plurality, that is to say a reduction in the number of diverse voices in broadcasting and the press. News Corp owns News International, the UK’s largest publisher of national newspapers, and 39.1 per cent of the shares of BSkyB, which has 10m subscribers and is the largest broadcaster by revenue in the UK. News Corp is seeking to own the remaining 60.1 per cent of BSkyB and has offered 700p a share for it, valuing the whole company at £12.3bn ($19.1bn).
- Brussels clears News Corp bid for BSkyB
- Ofcom Weighs News Corp Bid for British Sky Broadcasting
- Ex-Sun editor cites EU rules against BSkyB
- OFCOM escalates probe into BSkyB
- News Corp abandons BSkyB bid
- Hunt insists he acted fairly over BSkyB
- News Corp agrees BSkyB merger remedy
- UK Regulator to Hear Proposals by News Corp on BSkyB Bid
- Murdoch discuss BSkyB bid with PM
- UK Government Approves News Corp's BSkyB Takeover
- Murdoch seeks full control of BSkyB, but meets resistance
- UK Minister Hunt is ‘Confident’ BSkyB Plan Strengthens Media Plurality
- Murdoch ‘unfit’ to run global company
- BSkyB Bid Referred to UK Competition Commission
- BSkyB Board Is Said to Keep James Murdoch as Chairman