Media groups’ plea to Cable to block BSkyB deal

BBC and BT are among the media groups to have written to Vince Cable for him to stop NewsCorp’s proposed takeover of BSkyB.

The two join Channel 4, Associated Newspapers, DMGT, Guardian Media Group, Telegraph Media Group and Trinity Mirror who have all signed a letter to the business secretary, which says the proposed deal will impact on media pluarity in the UK.

Murdoch’s News International news already own The Times, The Sun and News of the World newspapers. NewsCorp currently owns 39 per cent of BSkyB.

NewsCorp is proposing a 700p-a-share buyout of BSkyB that would value the firm at £8bn.

The letter, signed by the companies’ chief execs including Trinity Mirror’s Sly Bailey and GMG’s Andrew Miller, points out that if the deal went ahead, NewsCorp’s UK interests would top that of the BBC’s, and could threaten the future of other UK press and TV groups.

Another signatory is BBC director general Mark Thompson, who appeared on US TV last week calling for the UK government to look at BSkyB’s plans.

He told PBS host Charlie Rose that the move represented a “potential abuse of power.”

Reports have suggested that Cable would only seek an intervention from media regulator Ofcom once a deal has officially been struck.

NewsCorp is believed to be seeking approval for the deal from the European Commission, which Cable could follow with a full public inquiry.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here