British Parliament Wants to Lock Out Rupert Murdoch

Preemptive planning has begun to make sure Murdoch doesn't bid on BSkyB again

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Members of British Parliament have begun making moves to ensure Rupert Murdoch won't be able to reopen News Corp.'s bid for full ownership of BSkyB, The Guardian reports. Opposition Culture Secretary Ivan Lewis, of the Labour party, has begun rallying the different parties to support a change in law that would allow ministers to block a new bid from News Corp. from reopening their bid for BSkyB "in the public interest." Lewis will propose "a negative motion when parliament returns next week, which--if approved by all parties--could go ahead without a vote." The idea would be that Parliament could step in whenever they want to block possible media mergers. Quoth The Guardian, "ministers would be given the necessary powers to ask regulators to apply a wide-ranging public interest test. Ministers would be also be able to intervene at any stage in the process if new information came to light." It's a morality test for media companies, one that News Corp. would fail after the hacking scandal rocked Murdoch's empire. The Labour party made similar overtures "in the public interest" before News Corp. dropped their first BSkyB bid.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.