Feeds

Hunt refers News Corp/BSkyB bid to Competition Commish

Corpse of NotW fails to stop vast controversy snowball

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

News Corp's planned bid to merge with BSkyB will be referred to the Competition Commission, the culture secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed in the House of Commons this afternoon.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said the government had been slow to respond to the public mood following the unfolding phone-tapping scandal that has engulfed News of the World publisher News International, the sister company of Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corp.

He also complained about the absence of the Prime Minister from the Commons' debate.

David Cameron separately told reporters earlier this afternoon that News Corp needed to concentrate on getting its house in order, rather than looking to expand Murdoch's empire.

"If I was running that company right now, and with all of the problems and difficulties and the mess, frankly, that there is, they should be focused on clearing that up, rather than the next corporate move," reports the BBC.

Hunt reiterated that two inquires would get underway, one that would be "judge-led... with witnesses questioned under oath".

The minister said "no stone [would be] be left unturned," and added that the inquiry would also consider why the first police probe into phone-hacking allegations against News International failed.

Hunt described the NotW saga as "irresponsible, callous and illegal behaviour".

In the past hour, News Corp formally withdrew its offer to spin off Sky News as a separate firm, which had formed part of its proposed merger of BSkyB. The Beeb's Robert Peston noted that this means Murdoch's company had kicked its plans into the long grass by effectively delaying the bidding process now that it will be referred to the Competition Commission.

Meanwhile, ex-PM Gordon Brown is set to make a statement in the Commons shortly, in which he is reportedly expected to confirm allegations that his bank account and phone had been repeatedly hacked over the course of a decade by journalists from across News International's titles: Not just by hacks on the now dead News of the World. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Government's 'Google Review' copyright rules become law
Welcome in a New Era ... of copyright litigation
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.