News Corp's BSkyB takeover to go to Competition Commission

BSkyB bid gets another look
BSkyB bid gets another look

News Corp's plan to take full control of BSkyB has hit a delay, with news that culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced he is to take the deal to the Competition Commission.

Hunt believes that the takeover may not be in the public interest and has said that he intends to send the whole thing to the Competition Commission for investigation.

Interestingly, though, he has given Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corp, some breathing space before going to the Commission, with Hunt saying in a statement: "Before [contacting the Competition Commission] it is right that I consider any undertakings in lieu offered by any merging party which have the potential to prevent or otherwise mitigate the potential threats to media plurality identified in the Ofcom report."

Media bias

In short: News Corp can sort out any problems Ofcom had with its proposal before the bid is sent to the Competition Commission, giving it a greater chance of success.

The bid by News Corp has already survived the European Commission, who said that the takeover wouldn't harm competition in the UK.

Murdoch's media empire currently consists of The Sun, the News of the World and The Times in the UK and The Wall Street Journal in the US.

Couple this with its current 39.1 per cent stake in BSkyB and critics of the company, including business secretary Vince Cable, are already weary that Murdoch and co hold too much media bias.

With this in mind, it will be interesting to see just what the Competition Commission makes of the bid.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.