BSkyB tainted by hacking

 

Last week Ofcom requested of News International that it hand over information on hacking.

It wants the documents that News Int has been ordered by Lord Justice Moss to give to alleged hacking victims who are suing the UK newspaper group owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

The media regulator wants the information as part of its enquiry into whether BSkyB is fit and proper to hold a broadcasting licence.

This is significant: it is the first confirmation that News Int's failure to prevent hacking is a material consideration in the decision about whether BSkyB, which is 39% owned by News Corp, is a fit and proper broadcaster.

It raises the possibility that News Corp could be forced to materially reduce its shareholding, so that it would no longer be seen to have a material influence over BSkyB.

UPDATE 16:55 BST

Sky sign at the BSkyB offices in London Ofcom is assessing whether BSkyB is a fit and proper broadcaster.

I understand that News International will supply the hacking information requested by Ofcom.

PS. Below is the script of my radio piece on this, in case it's of interest:

"It is highly significant that Ofcom, the media regulator, has asked News International to hand over information on hacking by journalists at the News of the World.

Ofcom wants the documents that News Intenerational has been ordered to give to alleged hacking victims who are suing the UK newspaper group.

This is the first time Ofcom has asked for such information from News International or its parent News Corporation in relation to its investigation of whether BSkyB should retain its broadcasting licence.

It is the first official confirmation that News International's failure to prevent hacking is a material consideration in a decision about whether BSkyB, which is 39% owned by News Corp, is a fit and proper broadcaster.

In that sense, there seems to have been contagion from the wrongdoing at News International to BSkyB.

It raises the possibility that News Corporation could be forced to materially reduce its shareholding, so that it would no longer be seen to have a material influence over the broadcaster.

This would enrage Rupert Murdoch, the creator of BSkyB, who regards the UK's most profitable media group as one of his most precious assets."

 
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  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 1.

    Good! The next step has to be to split the content part of BSkyB from the delivery platform part so that all platform (Virgin, BT, Talk Talk, Freeview, Top Up) players have fair access to reasonably priced content from Sky.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 2.

    About time too!

    The supine regulator needs to at the very least examine what everyone on the planet knows is true!

    Plurality?

    Objectivity?

    Proper management?

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 3.

    There has to be a radically different way of defining executive responsibilities in relation to serious case of failed governance. The phrase 'cover up' should not be in the lexicon of excuses that top management are able to wheel out at will. The presumption of what could be knowable through checks and diligence should be made when judging corporate behaviour.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 4.

    If you don't like the Murdochs then simply don't pay for any of their papers, subscribe to any their TV stations or watch any of the pictures produced and distributed through their film studios.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 5.

    Moving from being on the verge of gobbling up Sky entirely to where NC made have down size their influence suggests there is a just God - enthroned in the offices of Ofcom!

 

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