Invitation to comment: Public Interest Test - proposed acquisition of BSkyB by News Corporation

05 November 2010

Ofcom has today published an invitation to comment on the Public Interest Test it will conduct in relation to News Corporation’s intention to acquire the shares in British Sky Broadcasting Plc it does not already own.

This document outlines the considerations Ofcom will make as part of its initial investigation and now invites comments from interested parties.

THE PUBLIC INTEREST CONSIDERATIONS

In considering the public interest, Ofcom will have particular regard to the significance attached by Parliament to sufficient media plurality. And in undertaking an initial investigation of this Public Interest Test Ofcom will specifically consider:

• Content types

• Audiences

• Media platforms

• Control of media enterprises

• Future developments in the media landscape

Ofcom is also seeking views about the potential future impact of the proposed acquisition on the sufficient plurality of persons with control of the media enterprise and on potential remedies or mitigations to any public interest concerns identified by interested parties.

SUBMISSIONS

Written submissions must be made by 19 November 2010. Details of how to respond and the full Ofcom Invitation to comment document can be found here: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/public-interest-test/

BACKGROUND

On 3 November News Corporation notified the European Commission of its intentions. On 4 November the Secretary of State issued a European intervention notice requesting Ofcom reports on the effects of the proposed acquisition on media plurality by 31 December 2010.

On 4 November Ofcom published a guidance note on our website, setting out the process and timetable for preparing our report. Ofcom's Guidance Note [Published 04 November] can be found here: http://media.ofcom.org.uk/2010/11/04/guidance-note-for-public-interest-test/