UK: UK media unite against expansion of Murdoch’s empire

London, (IRNA): The British media Tuesday set aside their political differences and traditional rivalry to warn against the expansion of Australian-American tycoon Rupert Murdoch’s empire.

The right-wing Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail joined forces with the more liberal Guardian and Labour-supporting Mirror to send a letter to Business Secretary Vince Cable about the dangers of News Corporation taking full control of Sky satellite broadcaster.

The unprecedented letter is also signed by Mark Thompson, director general of the BBC, Ian Livingston, chief executive of BT telecommunications and David Abraham, chief executive of Channel 4 television.

News Corporation already owns 39% of Sky, but in June proposed a £8bn full takeover that would give combined Murdoch multimedia empire, which already controls the Sun, Times and News of the World in Britain, a turnover of £7.5bn compared with the BBC's £4.8bn.

In the US, Murdoch has a portfolio, which includes Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, and has recently announced plans to develop an integrated digital product, beyond the means of most newspapers.

The fear also in Britain is that Murdoch will expand his influence in Sky, which currently has an independent editorial policy, in much the same way as he exploited his newspaper titles to help the Conservatives win the last general election.

The deal has to be approved by regulators and the decision for Cable, who is one of the Liberal Democrats in the coalition, is whether to order an inquiry into the transaction on public interest grounds to see if 'media plurality' is being compromised.