By Claire West
Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable, has today issued an intervention notice on News Corp’s proposal to acquire the BSkyB shares that it does not already own.
The intervention, under Section 67 of the Enterprise Act 2002 was made on the basis of the submissions and information that the Secretary of State has received regarding the proposals.
The notice requires that Ofcom investigates the public interest consideration of media plurality that arises from News Corp’s proposal and submits a report by 31 December. Owing to the size of the acquisition, the European Commission will investigate the proposed acquisition on the grounds of competition and it will announce its own decision by 8 December.
Secretary of State, Vince Cable, said:
“On the basis of the information and submissions available to me, I have decided that it is appropriate to issue an intervention notice in this particular case.
“The independent experts at Ofcom will now investigate and report to me on the media plurality issues that may arise from this proposed acquisition.”
A further announcement will be made once the Secretary of State has considered Ofcom’s report where he will make a further decision on whether or not to refer the matter to the Competition Commission.