It’s a long shot that Rupert Murdoch archrival John Malone’s Liberty Global or DirecTV could end up controlling BSkyB, but it’s a direct route. News Corp has already called off its planned acquisition of the BSkyB shares it doesn’t own, at least temporarily.
There is a precedent too.
Here’s how it could go:
– News Corp sells off its UK newspapers to try to keep its hold of and possible future acquisition of cash-generating BSkyB.
– The UK populace and their Parliament turn against News Corp because of its hacking and bribery to the point that “News Corp executives and non-executive directors have shown themselves completely unable to control what was going on in the paper and make sure the company’s acting within the law,” Chris Bryant, a Labor lawmaker, told Bloomberg.com. “That raises questions about whether they should have any stake in BSkyB.”
– The independent UK regulator Ofcom, which is already investigating the matter, then declares that News Corp’s corrupt practices mean that it must sell its 39% interest in BSkyB. Ofcom has the power to revoke BSkyB’s license if it finds that executives are not “fit and proper” to hold it.
– Liberty Global, with a number of successful cable TV operations on the continent, steps in and buys control of BSkyB.
Who else would or could buy BSkyB? British Telecom?
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