The Secretary of State has issued a European intervention notice, on media public interest grounds, into the proposed acquisition by News Corporation (News Corp) of the shares that it does not already own in British Sky Broadcasting plc (BSkyB). News Corp owns 39.1% of the shares in BSkyB and has launched a public bid to acquire the remaining 60.9%.
Where an intervention notice is issued on media public interest grounds it is issued to both the OFT (for a review of jurisdiction) and Ofcom (for a review of the public interest consideration). In this case, the acquisition falls within the jurisdiction of the Commission and the OFT will not consider the competition issues of the acquisition, but will report back to the Secretary of State. In relation to Ofcom's review, Ofcom will focus on whether there is sufficient plurality of persons with control of media enterprises to satisfy the public interest consideration. During the investigation, Ofcom will consider content types, audience, media platforms, control of media enterprises and future developments and will report back to the Secretary of State by 31 December 2010.
5 November 2010