Feeds

Murdoch in ITV takeover spoiler

When billionaires attack

Boost IT visibility and business value

It emerged over the weekend that media bounder Rupert Murdoch had bought up a slice of ITV, putting the kybosh on Richard Branson's dreams of moguldom.

Murdoch's son James, who runs BSkyB, told the City on Friday he had bought out US investment groups Fidelity and Brandes, bagging a 17.9 per cent stake in the commercial broadcaster.

Regulations prevent BSkyB from owning more than 20 per cent of ITV, so a full takeover is not on the cards. The covert swoop does cast doubt on ITV talks with cable operator NTL over a £9bn merger, however.

NTL's biggest shareholder Branson had given public blessing to a tie-up with ITV. He netted 11 per cent of NTL in the Virgin Mobile deal.

The move is being interpreted as BSkyB attempting to head off NTL's expansion into its content creation territory. The two firms already compete on broadband and TV service provision.

German broadcaster RTL, the third wheel in the ITV carve-up, already owns Channel 5, itself thought to be a Murdoch target. ITV shares grab the high ground for BSkyB in that tussle too.

In other news, Melbourne's Great Satan is in hot water stateside over one of his subs' publishing of outrageous O J Simpson opus If I Did It. The Guardian reports American media - including Murdoch's own Fox News - and bookstores have reacted with revulsion to Simpson's hypothetical graphic descriptions of his wife's not so hypothetical bloody murder. Wot he never done.

Poor taste doubtless, but the prospect of a Murdoch-influenced ITV throwing O J into the I'm a Celebrity... mixer gets our backing. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.