UK comes out against Murdoch BSkyB bid


While News Corp. changed its bid 7/12, deciding it will no longer spin off Sky News and take its chances before the nonpartisan Competition Commission rather than play politics with Parliament, the British government responded by joining in calls for News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch to shelve his goal (at least for now) of buying the rest of British Sky Broadcasting as the investigation of phone hacking and bribery at his newspapers ballooned.

The decision followed an accusation by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown that Murdoch’s U.K. newspapers employed criminals to obtain confidential info about his family and ordinary people, and as police officers came under sharp criticism for failing to turn up evidence of some of the most serious spying allegations.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s office said the government would vote with the opposition Labour Party on 7/13 to support a motion calling on Murdoch and his News Corp. to withdraw the $12 billion bid for BSkyB.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said the motion, not legally binding but is a powerful expression of sentiment, would be the simplest way to ensure that the bid isn’t considered until the criminal investigations are complete.

“Ultimately, that is a decision for News Corp. but we would always expect people to take seriously what Parliament has said,” said Cameron’s official spokesman, Steve Field.