We need a proper investigation into Murdoch’s takeover of BSkyB

Nearly 20,000 38 Degrees members have signed a petition demanding a proper investigation into Rupert Murdoch's plans to buy the remainder of BSkyB.

Nearly 20,000 38 Degrees members have signed a petition demanding a proper investigation into Rupert Murdoch’s plans to buy the remainder of BSkyB. He currently owns 40 per cent of the broadcaster and aims to become the sole owner. News of the deal came hot on the heels of Murdoch’s recent purchase of several other channels from Virgin Media.

38 Degrees members have been challenging Rupert Murdoch’s ambitions in the UK for months. Last year we fought his attacks on the BBC.

During the election we spoke out against his scaremongering about a hung parliament and voting reform. Sky News’ Kay Burley told us during the election that we should just “go home and watch it on Sky News”.

Now, 38 Degrees’ members are worried that the UK is in danger of moving towards the sort of biased, right-wing news reporting associated with Fox News in the US. It’s likely that Murdoch is counting on the favours he earned with support for the Tories at the election to ensure the deal is ‘waved through’ with few questions.

But the 38 Degrees petition targets Vince Cable who, as business secretary and one of the most senior Lib Dem members of the coalition, has the power to order a proper investigation into the deal and what it means for media freedom and independence in the UK.

He has just under three weeks to start the review process and thousands of 38 Degrees members are planning to keep the pressure on until Cable take steps to make sure Murdoch’s plans are thoroughly examined. There’s no doubt that the huge pressure from Murdoch’s existing media empire will be urging him not to demand a review, but a huge, people-powered movement telling Cable to stand firm could tip the balance in favour of media independence

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