UK Government intervenes over News Corp’s BSkyB bid

BRITAIN’S Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has issued an intervention notice over News Corp’s plans to take full control of satellite broadcaster BSkyB and is refering the matter to media regulator Ofcom.

Ofcom will investigate whether News Corp’s attempt to acquire the 61 per cent of BSkyB shares does not already violate the public interest by damaging industry competition.

The regulator must submit its findings on the bid by December 31.

“On the basis of the information and submissions available to me, I have decided that it is appropriate to issue an intervention notice in this particular case,” Cable said.

He will review the Ofcom report before deciding whether to refer News Corp.’s bid to the UK Competition Commission.

News Corp, the parent company of, said it was confident its offer did not violate the public interest and that the company was prepared to cooperate fully with the Government.

“News Corporation is confident that the proposed investment will not adversely affect media plurality in the United Kingdom and looks forward to discussing any substantive issues with the relevant authorities.”

The intervention notice came a day after News Corp officially notified the EU about its offer for BSkyB. The European Commission confirmed that it would complete an antitrust review of the $19 billion bid by December 8.

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