According to reports over in the UK, News Corp’s bid for the part of BSkyB it doesn’t already own has run into a bit of an ecclesiastical snag. That’s right, if you thought it was difficult jumping through all those regulatory hoops for the FCC, a few dozen state PUCs, the Justice Department, and occasionally Homeland Security, then consider this. The Church of England is now publicly objecting to the purchase, on the grounds that it would give Rupert Murdoch and crew a ‘potentially dominant’ position in the UK media sector. Nigel McCulloch, also known as the Bishop of Manchester, is apparently leading the charge, and it actually seems to have a few teeth.
Why? Well there are some 26 bishops in the House of Lords, which gives them real influence. I spent a year over in the UK but despite that I’ve never fully understood just what the House of Lords really is, nor do I intend to try now. I’m just trying to imagine how a similar objection from a powerful religious group in the US would be seen. A few heads would be left scratching to be sure. Nah, it could never happen. They’re too busy arguing about other stuff I guess.
As for the actual deal in question, it would consolidate News Corp.’s power over one of the country’s three major TV broadcasters, one of its two major radio broadcasters, and the greater part of its print news. Kinda makes the NBC/Comcast deal look tame. But never fear, the Church is here. Sir Thomas More would have been… confused.
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