back to article News Corp kills BSkyB bid amid 'difficult climate'

News Corp has withdrawn its bid to acquire the remaining 61 per cent of BSkyB that it didn't already own, following immense political pressure in the House of Commons today. MPs were expected to vote this afternoon in favour of a motion calling on News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch to ditch the planned merger. Murdoch has faced …


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  1. Tony Green
    Thumb Down

    In other words...

    ...the Dirty Digger's pulling back while the heat's on with the intention of coming back for another go when the short attention-span of the public means most of them have forgotten.

    1. Graham Marsden

      And those other words...

      ... will be probably be a series of subtly manipulative stories trickling out from all the other media he owns saying "hey, maybe it wasn't such a bad thing after all, here's some hired talking heads and paid bloggers and sock puppets etc to agree with us..."

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Worse than that

      As a result of this, the heat will level will _DECREASE_

      If I was Murdoch's corprorate strategy director I would have actually begged the muppets in the Parliament to put it to an "informal" vote. This way I would have been able to demonstrate willingness to listen and empathy where there is none. This way also the energy would have been wasted on a blank shot instead of going towards a proper legislative effort.

      Watch this space - in a few months time:

      1. We will be back to the Guardian pursuing this alone until it is bancrupt and bought by someone who has interest in News of the Screws and not "Todo Modo" politics.

      2. There will be no long term effect on the media (because the politicos like it as it is as it helps them instill fear of paedos, people with beards and other miscreants

      3. The entire affair will be quietly dropped and Murdoch will happily buy whatever he likes in a few years times tops.

  2. hexx
    Thumb Up

    not that i know much about this

    but i welcome these news, not big fan of his empire

  3. tas
    Thumb Up

    May be better than it first seems ...

    Apart from the headline reason, this buys politicians and the regulators some to find a way to prevent future bids from this corporation which already owns a disproportionate amount of the UK press.

    In particular, if any News Corp. executives are convicted, perhaps the "Fit and Proper" test may be widened to apply to the bidder rather than the resultant company after a successful bid.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Not a chance..

      .. unless the symbiotic relationship between press and politics gets back to a more objective footing. Call me a cynic, but that ain't gonna happen in just a few weeks..

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dracula or 'The Terminator'

    Almost unkillable and 'I'll be back....'

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No Country for Old Men

    It seems there's something of a clear-out going on of the old guard who've been running the more dodgy areas of the world. We notice the obvious things like Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Syria, etc, but I can't help but wonder whether the News Corporation is another target.

    It seems the running theme is older leaders who've been running a tight and difficult ship for decades, doing all sorts of dirty things to keep things together. They're now approaching the end of their time and there are concerns as to what will happen when they're gone. Less than complete faith in the nepotistic successors or concerns over imminent coups or power transferring to the wrong kind of people.

    Are we seeing governments pre-empting Rupert Murdoch's retirement by forcibly reducing his company and power now? A boardroom version of going into Libya to neuter Gadaffi now, to avert his son taking over or an unfriendly group of aggressive third parties filling the void once he's gone?

    Even Richard Cromwell wasn't welcome by TPTB, and soon shown the door.

    1. johnnymotel

      seeing the light

      Karma...wot goes around...comes around

      But I believe you are correct, slowly, slowly the 'old order' is crumbling, it happens.....

      Check Roman Empire

      Check USA Imperialism

      Check GB Imperialism

      Check Old Style Capitalism??

      Moi? I love it, can't get enough of change, change, change...

      1. Paul 172


        USA Imperialism ? What's that then?

        ...and how did it happen before GB Imperialism ?

  6. Arctic fox
    Thumb Down

    "But will besmirched Murdoch try again in 2012?"

    I think we will discover that the Dirty Digger's troubles are only just beginning. The US senate is now making noises with regard to any possibility that the same stunts have been pulled "over there". Furthermore, the difference in the UK between the issue for Labour and for the Tories is political dynamite. Even the average member of Joe Public is aware that the Labour party in government did not cover themselves in glory with regard to NI because they were shit scared of them. Not very impressive I am sure you will agree. On the other hand the Andy Coulson affair shows that the present Tory government have been actively in bed with Murdoch's hyenas - and that is a difference that even the great British public are capable of noticing. If "call me Dave" actually is willing to contemplate allowing Murdoch back in the game in a year or so he will be handing the Labour party an open goal. Even "Dave" could not be *that* stupid.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Hasn't the labour leader got a former murdoch newsie who was involved in phone hacking?

      But yes, they will probably allow them to go ahead when the public has forgotten about it.

  7. pPPPP

    don't stop there

    Now we just need to get rid of the situation where there is only one satellite TV provider and only one cable TV provider.

    Some proper competition would be nice.

    1. irrelevant

      Been there, done that.

      We did... but they all gobbled each other up until there was no competition left.

    2. Miek

      another option ...

      Throw TV into Bin. Job Done

      1. The Fuzzy Wotnot

        Why Don't You

        Join the White Dot and banish the idiot box or as they used to say, ironically on a TV programme, "Turn off your TV set and go outside and do something less boring instead!"!

      2. pPPPP


        Indeed they did. That's the problem. We have a "competition commission" who just let them go ahead and become private monpolies. Just like we have countless watchdogs who are supposed to keep a check on private companies who provide public services, but don't.

        Not against privatisation. Just the way it was done.

  8. hamacy
    Paris Hilton

    @ Tony Green

    have to agree. Given the great unwashed's attention span of a gnat and their insatiable appetite for the colour of Katie's bejazzle, the Digger will easily take over Sky in the very near future. He's probably itching to get rid of (what he sees as) the archaic and loss making print medias anyway so he can control the far more pervasive and influencial bread and circus of Sky. How many punters are willing to give up their daily bread of premier football and soaps because of anything as trivial as morals?

  9. LPF
    Thumb Up

    @Anonymous Coward 14:34 GMT

    Dude if your goignt o post a stream of consciousness like that at least put your name to it, so when people say WTF , we all know who they are talking about.

    Murdoch will wait and come back when the heat is over, and the MP's are caught in yet another scandal.

    By the way, I still can't understand why NI arent pointing out, that a still vast proportion of MP's would be doing time for expenses fidderling if they had of been working in a normal company or minimum fired out of hand! Fit and Proper don't apply to the houses of parliment!

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Just turn left at Prestwick, keep swimming for 3000 odd miles and you'll bump into Merkinsville. You'll feel right at home there.

      1. Arctic fox

        Re ""Dude""?

        "Just turn left at Prestwick, keep swimming for 3000 odd miles and you'll bump into Merkinsville. You'll feel right at home there."

        Nah, he probably comes from Prestwick - just another yankee-gangsta-wannabee.

        Yo, bro, how's it hanging? - and all that.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: @Anonymous Coward 14:34 GMT

      "Dude if your goignt o post a stream of consciousness like that at least put your name to it, so when people say WTF , we all know who they are talking about."

      If someone isn't telling us to "trust me because I'm on the inside" and is just speculating, why should they put any name on it at all? Use your common sense and decide whether or not you're being played.

      Oh, and use the "Reply to post" button instead of doing the "@" thing and making us hunt down the message in question. Sheesh!

    3. johnnymotel

      not the time for logic

      mon ami

  10. John G Imrie

    Damage limitation?

    If News Corp. was found not to be a 'Fit and Proper' bidder for the rest of BskyB then they stood to loose all of their UK media licenses under the same test. Abandoning the bid pulls the plug on Ofcom and lets the 'Fit and Proper' test recede into the future.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sh!t flows downhill

    Murdoch has always been the mover/shaker of News International - whatever it (or a subsidiary) does is with his blessing. It is time that Rupert was charged with the crimes that he has condoned!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ex colonies to the rescue

    Once the chatter has dropped or we move on to the next scandal - mid Olympics would seem like a good moment to bury ominous news. Although I do wonder if he won't offload at least some of the papers before he has another go, in order to avoid too much scrutiny on the grounds of "media plurality".

    It's some way down the track, but a looming election will draw Labour and the Tories back to the lure of favourable headlines as surely as coppers take backhanders. The new fad for transparent government relations with the media will evaporate as fast as the pious parliamentary desire to be straight about expenses and outside interests did.

    The only real hope of a nicely nailed down lid to the Murdoch family coffin is if the US decides to launch a little Jihad and/or the Australians finally grow a pair and take on his almost total dominance of their print media. Then we might finally see Mini Digger swinging in the breeze.

    1. Reg Blank

      Australian politicians investigate Rupert?

      Are you high, mate?

      Australian politicians either cower in fear of a News Corp smear campaign (Labor) or they are enthusiastic fellow travellers of a selfish Murdoch agenda (the Liberals).

      We are currently in the middle of the latest Murdoch jihad, this one against a tax on carbon emissions. The News Corp coverage is so appallingly biased it is sickening to any objective observer. It has now gone beyond subtle innuendo and weasel words and moved to open distortion and advocacy.

      What is uproariously funny is that Dame Elizabeth Murdoch has put her name to a letter (along with other eminent Australians) published in national newspapers (including her son's) supporting a price on carbon. Dame Elizabeth, you're my hero!

      The older I get, the more I admire her and value her (small-l)iberal community support. How a raging limp dick like Rupert could be a child of hers, I can't imagine. My theory is some form of brood parasitism, where the morally-deficient biological parents of Rupert removed Dame Elizabeth's son from his crib and replaced him with their own inferior offspring.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does he have a yacht?

    After all he's rich enough.

    Just thinking of Robert Maxwell.

    He had a (smaller) media empire. And a yacht.

    Trouble at the former led to an accident at the latter.

    I'm just saying, is all

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Just remembered that bond film

      At the end where she writes the story about the evil bad guy falling off his yacht. We all got it.

      On a totally different subject. Mr Murdoch, are you interested in a little cruise :)

    2. Jess--

      I too thought of maxwell

      and his unfortunate accident.

      I still feel that the private eye's nickname that they had been using for maxwell (for years beforehand) became even more appropriate.

      the nickname was "Capt Bob" in case anyone didnt know

  14. kain preacher


    The US going after Murdoch family . News corp ?? You must not read the Reg much or have no access to American TV. Murdoch family >Newscorp> fox news> Great Satan.

    That would mean a blow to Fox news and its not like fox news has influenced great deal of nut jobs that still think Obama is foreign born Muslim terrorist . Oh wait they do. These folks think socialism and liberals are bad. They can't even spell socialism let alone know the meaning of the word. Quick whats the difference between a Muslim terrorist and fox news base ? you can't tell ? well neither can I. They both are religious fundamentalists that want a region based state and will kill you for not believing in what they do .

    Folks the 2nd amendment was made for these folks. Fox news the official news for the klans men and sheep.

  15. Colin Millar


    Be interesting to see if that gets followed up - that's a long scrutiny process.

    5-10 years in the sunlight that an outfit like NI might not find very comfortable.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One rule for them, one rule for us?

    There's a principle in law that wrongdoers should not benefit financially from their crimes, that's why the courts confiscate property from drug dealers and fraudsters.

    News Corp/Int profited from the news stories they published using illegally gathered information so surely the same principle should apply and the courts should confiscate a proportion of their profits for the period that these offences occurred over.

  17. Chris Miller

    A couple of thoughts

    While being no fan of Murdoch:

    1) He already owns 39% of BSkyB - more than enough so that what he says, goes. Buying out the remaining 61% was (almost) purely a financial transaction so that he could hang on to all of the profits.

    2) If Murdoch was forced to divest himself of his media holdings (e.g. because he was not a 'fit and proper' person), who do you think might be more likely to buy them? Would it be:

    a) a collective of lovely little cuddly fluffy bunnies; or

    b) a Russian/Chinese oligarch.

    Always be careful what you wish for.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Murdoch's problems go beyond the UK

      This is what I meant when I drew the comparison earlier to the same governments sending troops into Libya and Egypt, and helping trigger things elsewhere. There's a fear of who might eventually take over once the devils we know are gone, and they're all pretty old men now.

      I have heard hints dropped that what's happening to the News Corporation in the UK is just the start of something that soon to spread elsewhere, including the US.

      Murdoch has been entrusted with a lot of power over the years, but realistically it's unlikely he'll still be running everything in 10 years from now. I don't get the impression that people have the same confidence in James Murdoch and the rest of the clan, so perhaps the fear is that one way or another the Murdochs aren't going to be in control of their empire for much longer. So better to bring it down in a controlled manner now and end up with some good old boys with the right school ties moving in to take over what's left (just like every other western corporation of value) rather than lose an all-powerful global media empire to a foreign oligarch or other untrusted outsider?

      I did hear it suggested the real reason Murdoch wants all of Sky is to give him full control over the brand, making it easy to move into China, India the rest of the Far Eastern/Asian region. It's not beyond the realms of possibility that the wrong kind of mogul could in the future lead the company into a Chinese takeover either.

      1. Chris Miller

        and an afterthought

        We know no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality. - Lord Macaulay (1800-59)

  18. IanPotter

    Sky Phews

    Of course, now Murdoch pulled out of the bid there is no reason for him to continue the charade of "arms lengthing" Sky News. I think we can safely predict their editorial standpoint on this issue...

  19. Lord Lien

    Still loving the fact....

    ... it was Hugh Grant that was the Catalyst to all this. I have a new found admiration for this man.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Is now the time to mention PHORM?

    So the police admit they shouldn't have let the phone hacking go so easily the first time around... so is it now that we should be asking them if they are sure that prosecuting BT & Phorm is still not in the public interest? and that allowing it now.. is not going to blow up an almighty shit storm in their faces at a later date?

    Perhaps further questions should be asked about what hospitality was shown by BT to the Met Police during the investigation. Maybe whether the same reluctance to cooperate and keenness to wine & dine & employ (at greater than the going rates) MET officers, shown by NI, was shown by BT?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    It was only a matter of time, wasn't it?

    You can see my post here:

    Basically, it's the government suddenly finding that snooping on its citizens should be a monopoly industry, and a Crown Corporation at that.

    Procrustes 17

  22. Sam Therapy

    Now the FBI are involved

    I hope the bollock faced old fuckstick gets a proper kicking, Sky bid or not.

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