A letter signed by Guardian Media Group, Telegraph Media Group, Trinity Mirror, Daily Mail, Daily Mail, Channel 4, BT and the BBC has been lodged with business secretary Vince Cable in protest at Rupert Murdoch’s bid to wrest full control of BSkyB.
The £8m bid by News Corporation for Britain’s biggest pay-TV company is criticised by rival media organisations for having “serious and far reaching consequences for media plurality.”
News Corp currently owns 39.1% of BSkyB but is proposing to purchase the remainder of the broadcaster in order to consolidate its international business and reduce a dependence on advertising.
Dismissing the request to block the purchase the government frontbencher Baroness Rawlings said it was “premature to speculate as the parties have not yet announced their result.”
Murdoch is expected to file for regulatory approval with the European Commission within the next ten days, from which point Cable will have 25 days to issue an intervention notice.