U.k. Culture Secretary Says He'll Approve Bkyb Deal
As was widely predicted, British culture secretary Jeremy Hunt announced today (Thursday) that he has agreed in principle to permit Rupert Murdoch's News Corp to acquire the 61 percent of satellite broadcaster BSkyB that it does not already own, contingent on the company's separating itself from Sky News, its 24-hour equivalent of CNN. (The satellite news channel does not have the line up of partisan commentators that is featured on News Corp's Fox News Channel in the U.S.) Hunt said that British regulators had agreed that the deal will "ensure media plurality." His statement was greeted with scorn by the London Daily Mirror , which accused the David Cameron government of engaging in a "giant con." In a lead editorial the newspaper said that by allowing the deal to go forward, Cameron "is repaying a political debt" to Murdoch, who backed the Conservative Party in last year's elections. "The deal is awful for viewers and everyone who values freedom of expression," the newspaper said.