Earlier this month the culture secretary approved an undertaking from News Corp to spin off Sky News under an independent publicly listed company as a safeguard for media plurality.
Today, BT, Guardian Media Group, Associated Newspapers Ltd, Trinity Mirror Plc, Northcliffe Media and Telegraph Media Group have written a joint letter calling for a full investigation by the Competition Commission, as recommended by the regulator Ofcom and a move that Jeremy Hunt initially indicated would take place.
Today's letter lists six reasons why the media alliance is opposing the takeover, including that the proposed consultation period of two weeks is insufficient and too much power is in the hands of the culture secretary rather than independent regulators.
The letter states that Newco, the new publicly listed spin off company which will run Sky News, will be dependent on News Corp for 85 per cent of its revenues and access to the digital satellite BSkyB platform.
The alliance also states a view that safeguards for editorial independence in Newco are weak, with only one of its independent directors required to have editorial or senior journalistic experience and with a News Corp representative on its board. The letter says the safeguards are "of the sort that News Corporation has previously being adept at undermining".
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