WHAT THE PAPERS SAY: Murdoch’s deals invite criticism

Apparently, Rupert Mur­doch’s media empire is to face tough scrutiny over the coming months, following Alas­tair Darling’s referral of BSkyB’s purchase of 17.9 per cent of ITV to the Competition Commission.

With both the Office of Fair Trading and Ofcom voicing their concerns over issues such as ‘competition, public interest and media plurality’ (The Telegraph, 28 April), The Guardian’s ­Richard Wray surmised that ‘Rupert Murdoch faces the most serious challenge yet to his dominance of the British media’ (25 May). 

The Independent, however, was less convinced of the regulator’s, and the Government’s, ability to confront the might of the media mogul. Matthew Norman noted: ‘There’s a chance this is a charade designed by Gordon [Brown] to assuage Murdoch’s opponents’ (28 May).

To be fair, BSkyB played by the rules of the Communications Act by purchasing less than 20 per cent of ITV, although scuppering the potential merger between ITV and rival Virgin Media must have been a bonus.

BSkyB remained unruffled, confirming that ‘We look forward to engaging with the Competition Commission as the regulatory process enters its next phase’ (Manchester Evening News, 25 May).



Based on 40 articles from 28 April - 28 May 2007 

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