Thursday, 13 January 2011

BBC's Robert Peston: 'Ofcom recommends BSkyB deal be referred to Competition Commission'

BBC business editor Robert Peston says on his blog today that Ofcom has recommended that the bid by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation to take full control of BSkyB should go to the Competition Commission.

He writes: "I am as sure as I can be that Ofcom has made an unambiguous recommendation that NewsCorp's plan to acquire all of British Sky Broadcasting should be referred to the Competition Commission for further investigation.

"I have come to this view having had a number of conversations with sources close to the media regulator, to News Corporation and to the Department of Culture Media and Sport, which received Ofcom's report on the proposed £7.5bn deal on the last day of 2010.

"What I don't understand is why Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, has not simply published the report and announced that there will be a further Competition Commission enquiry into whether the takeover restricts plurality in the media (or choice for viewers and readers)."

Peston concludes: "I presume that Mr Hunt will ultimately do what Ofcom recommends and will refer the proposed takeover to the Competition Commission."

  • Peston updated his blog to state: "I slightly regret the way I wrote this post, because some of you seem to think this is speculation. It isn’t speculation.What I am saying is very simple: Ofcom has recommended that there should be a full Competition Commission enquiry into News Corporation’s plan to buy all of British Sky Broadcasting. That is a fact."

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