Tag Archives: bskyb

LibLink: Vince Cable: Why the Murdochs’ takeover of BSkyB should be blocked

It’s like 2010 all over again.

The intervening years have not made Vince Cable any more amenable to Rupert Murdoch and his Empire.

He’s been writing in the Evening Standard explaining why the Murdochs should not be able to takeover BSkyB.

The grounds for opposing the takeover are two-fold. The first is that concentration of media ownership is already a concern and will become worse if the takeover goes ahead. The Murdochs’ 21st Century Fox is the leading supplier of newspaper content (through The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times), the leading supplier of news content through commercial radio and the third-leading supplier of TV content via Sky. While there has been a proliferation of internet sites carrying news, few of these generate content; they are aggregators for the big players…

And that’s before we even think about the “fit and proper person” test.

In 2012 Ofcom issued a damning report on the conduct of James Murdoch, then chairman of News International, about his attitude towards the egregious wrongdoing identified in the phone hacking scandal, as forensically probed in the Leveson Inquiry. Ofcom concluded that Sky should be regarded as “fit and proper” to hold a broadcast licence only if there was minority Murdoch control of Sky, and if James Murdoch was not in an executive role. But the takeover will result in 100 per cent control and Murdoch will be chief executive. When last in the Sky studios, staff told me there is a beautifully appointed office with a marble-topped table and specially designed chairs awaiting his arrival.

And the wrongdoing at the News of the World was — it emerged — considerably worse than when the 2012 report was written. Since that damning Ofcom judgment there are even bigger reasons for questioning the corporate governance arrangements over which Murdoch presided. Since 2012 there has been a succession of sexual and racial harassment cases at 21st Century Fox.

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Adrian Sanders MP writes: Hunt vote – we need to save our energy for the battles that really matter

The vote in the Commons today is the latest highlight of the long running Phone hacking-BSkyB-Leveson saga.  It has been billed as an explosive vote that will tear the coalition asunder.  The Parliamentary party has unanimously decided to abstain, a position I strongly support for very good reasons.  We may well see traditional anti-Lib Dem rent-a-quotes like Peter Bone slamming us for betrayal but this is almost certainly a sign that we are doing the right thing.  Indeed, given our rather shaky performance in how we conduct Government to date, this is a refreshing sign that we might be back …

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I would have sacked Vince Cable for standing up to Murdoch – what Ed Miliband said 16 months ago

Ed Miliband The SunJeremy Hunt is in hot water today following the revelations at the Leveson Inquiry of the closeness of his relationship with the Murdochs during their attempted takeover of BSkyB.

The culture secretary was handed quasi-judicial responsibility for handling the deal after Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable was snared by the Telegraph declaring war on the Murdoch empire before it became fashionable.

According to the Guardian, the Labour party ‘is likely to demand an urgent Commons statement from Hunt to set out the nature of

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Opinion: Traditional media is not all we should be looking at

It’s not often I agree with a Conservative MP, it’s even less often that I hear them say something that actually strikes me as truly insightful.

During the parliamentary debate on the BSkyB bid there was one such moment. At 6.25pm Dr Phillip Lee stood up and spoke to a now mostly empty chamber. This was a shame, because what he had to say was, in my view, extremely relevant and highly important. (Hansard)

He spoke on the fact that a lot, if not the vast majority, of the news people are getting today comes from not the mainstream media, the …

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LibLink | Vince Cable: I declared war on Murdoch… now everyone agrees with me

Business Secretary Vince Cable has an interview in the Evening Standard, in which he discusses his declaration of “war” on Rupert Murdoch, his referral of the BSkyB takeover bid to Ofcom and Murdoch’s role in the phone hacking scandal:

…the Business Secretary also reveals for the first time that he considered resigning from Cabinet during the furore when he said he was “at war” with the media tycoon.

“I certainly felt rather low at the time because I was heavily criticised,” he said at the end of a week that has seen the tables comprehensively turned between the two men.

“And I

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Opinion: Liberal Democrats didn’t just avoid Murdoch, we tried to cut him down to size

In my last post for Lib Dem Voice, I pointed out that Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems had never courted Murdoch and his cronies.

Actually, that was just the half of it.

We didn’t just avoid him. We have tried, in different ways over a number of years, to cut the media mogul down to size and clamp down on the sort of abhorrent media practices that have been exposed of late.

As far back as 1994, the year before Tony Blair chose to fly to Oz to lick Rupert Murdoch’s boots, we were calling for the OFT …

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Vince: Liberal Democrats will approach BSkyB takeover deal “without fear or favour”

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Clegg urges Murdoch to reconsider BSkyB bid

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Brian Paddick writes: The Lib Dem Guide to phone hacking

Uniquely perhaps, I was a victim of the News of the World’s private investigator, Glen Mulcaire, when I was a senior police officer at New Scotland Yard, working along the corridor from the officers who conducted the first phone hacking inquiry in 2002. But they never told me I was victim.

It was only a couple of years ago when my solicitor received a call from a Guardian journalist, that I knew Mulcaire had my name and mobile phone number in his notebook.

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Opinion: It should be about more than Murdoch

The left of centre in Britain had better figure out what it stands for when it comes to free speech and the monopolisation of power in the media.

There is apparently a flash mob, due to take place in front of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this afternoon. Well, at least if it isn’t still raining. Then the various protestors will probably head to the pub instead, if I know my protestors.

It’s been organised by several left leaning think tanks and pressure groups to try and achieve two things: 1. To put pressure on the government to delay …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 14 Comments

Opinion: Liberals shouldn’t be scared of Murdoch

Trying to stop Murdoch from consolidating his hold on BSkyB was always going to be difficult. That is mainly because the case for stopping him was rather weak in the terms that governments are allowed to intervene in such matters. Murdoch already has practical control; he does not dominate the total television market, with the BBC and ITV still strong. The case rested on the proposition that he would further dominate the news market as a whole. But what really drove the campaign against Murdoch was fear and loathing. Liberals should have no difficulty with …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 18 Comments

Vince orders Ofcom investigation of News Corp’s bid for BSkyB

The last few months has seen a curious coalition emerge, uniting media foes of right and left and non-aligned, ranging from the Daily Mail to the Guardian, Trinity Mirror to the Telegraph, the BBC and Channel 4. What has brought them together? Opposition to the bid by News Corporation, controlled by Rupert Murdoch, for full control of BSkyB (the company currently owns a minority 38% stake).

Well, today Vince Cable offered them some cheer — he has referred News Corp’s bid to the media regulator, Ofcom. The BBC reports:

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has ordered Ofcom to investigate News

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