Church of England says no to BSkyB takeover

The Church of England has added its voice to the debate whether or not News Corp should be allowed to buy the remaining shares of BSkyB that it does not own and take over control of the satellite company.  The Church is opposed to the takeover, saying that it will damage the plurality of media in Britain.

It sites, as examples, the fact that Rupert Murdoch, the owner of News Corp, Fox, and other media giants, already controls The Times, News of The World, The Sunday Times, and The Sun.   A spokesman says that the Church believes the takeover would create an unprecedented merge of television and print media.

Perhaps the European Commission will take this under advisement as they consider News Corp’s formal intention to bid, as News Corp has just officially lodged its plan to do so with Brussels.

Sky has not reacted to Church comments at all, while News Corp has stated that the Internet and multi-channel television have already had an impact to increase the plurality of the British media, making the merge of Sky and News Corp inconsequential.

With a rebuff clearly aimed at the Church, News Corp went on to say that this increased plurality has led to an important expansion of expressed religious views.

News Corp has not said anything to this point about raising its bid from a projected 700p per share to over 800p, which is what the board of Sky has said it will take t get the merger done.