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back to article Ofcom in screeching U-turn on BSkyB, begins probe

Ofcom has reversed its decision not to wade into the News Corp and BSkyB row, following public and parliamentary pressure over phone hacking allegations swamping Rupert Murdoch's media empire. In a letter to three MPs on Friday, the communications watchdog's boss, Ed Richards, outlined a change of direction for Ofcom's handling …

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Mushroom

Another rat scurries for cover

What is most telling about this stuff is the piddling amounts it appears to cost to buy the British establishment. Its embarrassing. I can just see the Feebs having a right laugh when the do their FCPA investigation - "Call that corruption? - No wonder none of you can afford proper dentists"

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Bronze badge

Am I missing something?

Have I got this right?

When there was a big, Ofcom wouldn't investigate it.

Now the bid has been dropped, Ofcom will investigate something that is not going to happen (at the same time that News International detectives AKA the police are covering the same ground when checking how many bribes they took).

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Happy

@JohnG

"When there was a big, Ofcom wouldn't investigate it."

"When there was a big fat brown enevelope, Ofcom wouldn't investigate it."

There, fixed it for you.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

Or... Instead of believing that everyone is corrupt - they're not - you could think:

Offcom weren't investigating until after the bid had been approved by government.

In investigating now, they'll probably find NewsCorp unsuitable to own BSkyB, whereas this may be different in the future when it's all blown over.

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"The fit and proper test"

....

"£18,000, £19,000, £20,000 - congratulations Mr Murdoch, you've successfully passed our rigorous testing procedure. It's going to be even more rigorous in the future when we bump our price up to £30k."

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Coat

hmmm,

There has been some speculation that the bid was dropped in an effort to allow News Corp to come back at a later date when this has all blown over and push the bid through; essentially waiting it out until they are in a better position to make and win the bid.

How would OFCOM's decision influence this future potential bid? If they find them unsuitable (which I'd imagine is the public feeling) then how exactly would News Corp make a new bid in the future? and considering BskyB is partly owned by news corp, would it be possible for there be an impact upon their current part-ownership?

I don't know the answers to these questions, however there is indeed potential ramifications for News Corp should they be found unfit, I'd imagine.

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Childcatcher

When are we going to get ... ...

When are we going to get the proportionate investigations of the Mail and Trinity Mirror?

According to the ICO report (see Guido for a link), the Mail group are many times more prolific at this hacking lark, and Trinity Mirror beat the total of Mail and News International offences into a cocked hat! But the purpose of this Grauniad and BBC inspired attack is to destroy the Murdoch organisation. So there will be no investigation beyond the Murdoch organisation.

Please can we have an "Uncle Joe Stalin" icon?

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Anonymous Coward

Wrong about the reasons

The Daily Mail aren't in a position to be investigated by Ofcom about expanding their ownership of media.

Monetary crises are the Daily Mails stock in trade - they'll always run a story on a subject that might affect house prices in England, doubly so if its origins might be the financially illiterate foreigners - whether to divert attention or not.

They might well have indulged in dubious practices of the sort carried out by NI, but so far they've either been more selective or secretive compared to Wapping and are for the moment out of the spotlight.

Perhaps when the police have been able to interview the legmen satisfactorily, their other clients will come to notice and the full glare of the public's ire turned on them too.

And if you think the Guardian group are nobler then the other Fleet Street denizens then you are sadly misguided. Hacks or champagne socialists - the lot of them.

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Anonymous Coward

"not following this story to it's conclusion"?

What makes you think it's over?

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Thumb Down

We should certainly look at the behaviour of all newspapers, however........

........it was not one of their ex editors suspected of criminal activities who got employed as "Dave's" press secretary despite warnings given. There is currently no evidence that the widespread use of bribery and corruption of police officers that NI engaged in was indulged on that scale by other newspapers. In short it is the sheer scale and widespread effect of what NI got up to that made it so serious and has, thank Christ, brought them down - and deservedly. That does not mean that we should not scrutinise the rest of them, just that the Dirty Digger's gang were in a class of their own.

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Big Brother

Keep up people

This could equally apply to News Corpse's EXISTING stake in BSB. Doesn't have to apply to the Dirty Digger's future aspirations to own a white persian, whilst sitting in his volcano watching "Police, Camera, InAction" repeats.

Although as I've seen elsewhere, OFCOM didn't bat an eye about Demond owning Five. Strike that, does anyone watch Five? ;-)

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Happy

What has changed?

Before, Murdoch was "us". Now he's "them".

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@AC 14:36

Wrong about the reasons #

Posted Monday 25th July 2011 14:36 GMT

Contrary to Ms Brookes testimony/shit flinging exercise last week, I think you'll find that the Guardian was conspicuous in the ICO report for a somewhat different reason to the one you suggest....... conspicuous for their absence.

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WTF?

Pointless!

The toothless and impotent OFCOM not so much wades in as scuttles and scurries, one bark from the NI lawyers and OFCOM will scuttle back under it's stone and whimper!

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On this subject

Wasn't there

a) a previous OFT ruling about unbundling channels rather than them only being available in huge groups?

b) some EU directive about CAMS being open rather than, like Sky ones, only available with their own boxes?

(not that I necessarily agree with either or, indeed, care very much, but are they perchance ruling unfavourable to Sky that were never implemented for some unaccountable reason).

Personally, in this exciting world of TV over teh internets this seems to me a bit like fighting the last war, anyway.

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