Cable asks regulator to probe News Corp's offer for BSkyB

 
City A.M. Reporter
Business Secretary Vince Cable has asked the country's communications regulator to look at whether News Corp's proposed offer for BSkyB may be against the public interest.

News Corp, led by Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch, is proposing to buy the 61 per cent of the satellite broadcaster it does not already own for £7.8BN to consolidate a business it helped build.

The U.S. media conglomerate also owns newspapers including The Times and The Sun – the country's best-selling tabloid, which supported Prime Minister David Cameron during this year's election campaign.

"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 in a statement on Thursday.

"The independent experts at Ofcom will now investigate and report to me on the media plurality issues that may arise from this proposed acquisition."

News Corp officially informed the European Union of its proposal on Wednesday, and EU competition regulators will also examine the matter – on grounds of competition - deciding by December 8 whether to clear the bid.

Cable will decide whether to refer the matter to Britain's own Competition Commission after receiving the Ofcom report, which is due by 31December.