News Corp’s bid for BSkyB: not just a matter of price

13 September 2010

News Corp’s bid for the shares it does not own in BSkyB is unlikely to generate much concern at the OFT because newspapers and TV will be seen as being in separate markets

But, separately, the Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable, is entitled to make a ‘public interest’ intervention that requires the plurality issue to be assessed alongside the competition investigation over the next few weeks

We think that there is a strong case that the transaction does raise substantial issues of ‘plurality’ as defined in the Court of Appeal judgment on the purchase of ITV shares by BSkyB in 2006.1 Whether the new Secretary of State has the stomach for a fight with the company must be open to substantial doubt

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