The UK’s business ministry yesterday confirmed leading media firms have objected to News Corp’s proposed takeover of broadcaster BSkyB.
Executives from firms including Trinity Mirror, BT, the BBC and Channel Four co-signed a letter of objection sent to business minister Vince Cable, claiming the takeover would damage the UK’s media market.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Business, Industry and Skills confirmed the firms had urged Cable to block News Corp’s attempt to purchase the 60.9% of BSkyB it doesn’t already own, WSJ.com reported.
Cable will have the final word on the deal if News Corp makes a formal offer for the outstanding stake, which would add broadcasting to its existing portfolio of UK newspapers and book publishers.
The firms said the takeover will impact media plurality in the country, the Guardian reported.
News Corp holds around 33% of the UK newspaper market through its News International business, the BBC noted.
BSkyB rejected News Corp’s initial advances in June, claiming the proposed 700 pence per share (€796 cents) offer was too low and that it wouldn’t consider any offer below 800 pence per share.