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Let News Corp buy all of Sky and we’ll end up like Berlusconi’s Italy says Enders

And we don’t want that in the UK do we? Claire Enders is the founder of respected media consultant Enders Analysis and she’s written, unprompted, to business secretary Vince Cable to say that News Corporation should not be allowed to buy the 61 per cent of satellite broadcaster and broadband supplier Sky it doesn’t own because that will give it a share of the UK market akin to the one Silvio Berlusconi owns in Italy (that is, most of it).

This won’t please Rupert and James Murdoch although Jeremy Darroch, boss of Sky, may allow himself a moment of satisfaction (which he’ll keep to himself of course).

It probably won’t do much for Vince Cable’s tranquility either. Cable is hardly a Murdoch supporter but the Murdochs are as thick as thieves with his majority coalition partners the Conservatives having switched the support of their papers, most notably the Sun, from Labour to the Tories at the last election. And they’ll be expecting a payback.

Enders helpfully reminds Cable that he has enough legislation to hand the ban the takeover, most notably the UK’s laws about media ‘plurality.’

A News Corporation takeover of Sky would give the company the dominant positions in both television and newspapers. An open and shut case then Vince?

It won’t be half as easy as that of course. Even some Tories are probably nervous about an enlarged News Corporation empire. But they’ll be even more nervous about confronting the Murdochs.

As it is they’ve been forced to hold a debate in Parliament and now another committee inquiry into the charges of widespread phone hacking at News Corporation’s News of the World and the role therein of Andy Coulson, former editor and now the Tories director of communications.

It’s jolly brave of Ms Enders to enter the lists against the Murdochs in such an outspoken way. Cable and co probably wish she’d kept her views to herself.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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