British media join forces against Murdoch BSkyB takeover

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British media groups urged Business Secretary Vince Cable on Tuesday to block a bid by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. for full control of satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

The appeal was in a letter signed by the heads of the companies behind the right-leaning Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail and left-leaning Guardian and Daily Mirror, as well as the heads of the BBC, Channel 4 television and the BT Group.

"We believe that the proposed takeover could have serious and far-reaching consequences for media plurality", they said in the joint letter, according to reports in several newspapers.

They said that if the deal wnet ahead, News Corp would have an annual turnover of 7.5 billion pounds (8.6 billion euros, 11.9 billion dollars) compared with the publicly funded BBC's 4.8 billion pounds.

In June, News Corp. bid 7.8 billion pounds for full control of British BSkyB, but the television giant which screens live English Premier League football demanded 8.9 billion pounds.

News Corp. -- which controls such top media outlets as Fox television and The Wall Street Journal -- currently has 39.1 percent of BSkyB.

© 2010 AFP

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