Today’s Independent gives a very detailed and daunting description of the processes involved in News Corp’s bid for full control of BSkyB. It’s an exhausting business, to be sure, peppered with complex procedures, regulations, acts and a large cast of players, including the European Commission, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, the Office of Fair Trading, OfCom, The Competition Commission, and Vince Cable, to name but a few.
You can read the article in full, but do linger over the concluding quote about the takeover from Numis analyst, Paul Richards:
“I’m sure it will go through, although it’s safest to assume everyone who can look at it, will look at it. The deal should still be done by June.”
This presumably means that, even if Vince Cable does intervene, the deal will still probably go through next summer. Meanwhile, whatever anyone does in protest will count as nothing and, from mid 2011, we will all be citizens of the Murdocratic state of Britain.
Erm, hang on a minute, everyone! Are we not allowing ourselves to be side-tracked by technicalities, machinations and merger intricacies? Surely, far from being complex, the principles are very simple. Murdoch’s News Corporation already own far too much of Britain’s media than is healthy in any democracy. They should have to sell some off, not be allowed to take more.
Our priority should be to fudamentally review our own rules on ownership and competition, which lag behind those of other western democracies. The government must establish a media commission to sort this out once and for all.