OFCOM could be asked to review News Corporation’s bid for BSkyB if a formal offer is made with business secretary Vince Cable likely to issue an “intervention notice”.
The notice would order the watchdog to look at the impact of the takeover. News Corporation wants to take over the remaining 61 per cent of BSkyB it does not own.
The corporation has already made two unofficial bids for BSkyB, the first valued the
company at 675p per share, the second at 700p per share.
Both were rejected by the broadcaster, which values itself at above 800p per share.
News Corp is owned by Rupert Murdoch, and operates News International, which owns the Sun, the News of the World and the Times and Sunday Times newspapers in the UK.
A Department for Business spokesperson told the BBC: “The secretary of state has not made a decision on this matter – indeed at this stage there is not even a decision for him to take. We will not be speculating on this issue.”
A referral to Ofcom would charge it with looking at whether News Corp’s complete ownership of BSkyB would restrict the “plurality” and number of voices within the media.