Culture Secretary Urged To Hand Over Sky Bid to Competition Commission



Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt is being urged by academics, campaigners and his peers to hand over News Corporation’s bid for full ownership of the BSkyB to the Competition Commission.

A letter to the Financial Times sees claims that Rupert Murdoch is planning to take complete control over the satellite TV company Sky. This has raised ‘deep public interest issues’.

In support of the campaign against Rupert Murdoch gaining complete control over the company, there is a long list on well know and prestigious names. Signatories include Oscar-winning producer, Lord Puttnam, Dr Damian Tambini from the London School of Economics and Lord Fowler, who was chairman of the House of Lords communications committee until recently.

‘At the moment, Sky News, which has a central role in shaping the national news agenda, has an independent voice because it has independent directors and a majority of independent shareholders,’ claims the letter.

It also sates that the News Corporation takeover would cause the independence to be ‘fatally undermined’ as a result.

This letter only adds to the pressure that is resting on Mr Hunt, who has to decide whether to pass the issue over to the Competition Comission or not.

Yesterday it was announced that News Corporation was preparing for ‘confidential discussions’ with the Culture Secretary about the prospective deal.

Hunt is due to make his decision by the end of the month.

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