The Corner

British Government Takes Steps to Halt BSkyB Takeover

In London, the threat to News Corporation’s proposed takeover of BSkyB has become all but terminal. Reuters reports that:

The British government endorsed a move in parliament to block Rupert Murdoch’s bid for broadcaster BSkyB on Tuesday, casting more doubt on his hopes to expand in television despite a widening scandal over phone-hacking by one of his newspapers.

By joining a phalanx of resistance to the global media magnate that now includes all Britain’s main parties, Prime Minister David Cameron showed how far Murdoch, long feared and courted by both left and right as a kingmaker, may be damaged by outrage at the past week’s allegations of criminal journalism.

Note that this goes much further than Monday’s decision to refer the proposal to the Competition Commission. With the opposition Labour party making hay tying David Cameron to the scandal, the prime minister will likely be happy to back a motion, which his opposite number Ed Miliband will introduce into parliament, simply stating, “This House believes that it is in the public interest for Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation to withdraw their bid for BSkyB.” Mr. Miliband tweeted this afternoon, confirming that the government intended to support the bill.


The Latest