Feeds

Hunt refers News Corp/BSkyB bid to Competition Commish

Corpse of NotW fails to stop vast controversy snowball

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.