21st Century/Sky Bid – I smell political skulduggery!

21st Century’s bid for SKY falters – I smell political skulduggery!


It would be wrong to play down the horrific anguish experienced by the Milly Dowler family and copious hacked celebrities at the hands of the News of The World and the insults levelled at the people of Liverpool by the Sun 23 years ago. In the same breath we must also remember that the perpetrators at the NOW have been brought to justice.  Also do NOT forget that even the Guardian and eventually the Police admitted that nobody from the News of the World deleted messages from Milly Dowler’s phone.

However I have to confess that I am hugely disappointed that Culture Secretary Karen Bradley has passed the buck, as to whether 21st Century should be allowed to purchase the remaining 61% for £11.7 billion, to the CMA for further investigation.  I know there has been a General Election, but OFCOM and the CMA have had donkey’s years to deliberate. Madam, may I rather vulgarly suggest, you grow a pair and make a decision and the right one, straight away. We have listened for years to the whingeing opposition to this deal, that the Murdoch Empire is too large and therefore it has too much influence.  We also have the Tom Watson battalion throwing its two cents worth in.  I wouldn’t be listening too closely to what he has to say on this subject.  You only have to remember the reprehensible manner he treated Lord Leon Brittan, when the former Home Secretary was accused of paedophilia. He all but choked when apologising under duress to Lady Diana Brittan. So spare me the moral story.

Let’s look at the commercial realities. Sky has been a magnificent employer in a market that is diminishing in players. SKY TV has been a truly innovative media machine and here in Europe it has expanded in Italy and Germany.  Let’s not forget that terrestrial and pay TV are diminishing in importance as the internet grows in stature as a broadcaster.  The same can be said for the written word.  Papers are dying all over the place as they are replaced by blogging and the internet. It is fair to say that The Times and Sun would be dead and buried without Murdoch’s steadfast loyalty.

I am a free market man.  I would have fought BT tooth and nail to prevent them being given Sky’s  ground.  Compete! Earn it! Charge what the traffic will bear.  

So frankly the postponement looks no more than political skulduggery. Provided there is no editorial influence from FOX, this deal should be allowed to go through unopposed.  Shares in Sky are up 3.35% to 988.5p – well below the 1o75p cash bid.


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