So Mr Murdoch got his way. Not because of any favouritism on the part of the new government, but, according to the FT anyway, because current regulatory frameworks are inadequate for protecting plurality in the new market in the UK:
…the bigger issue is that such constraints simply miss the point. They do not deal with the concerns that exist about the market power Mr Murdoch will wield once the takeover is complete. European competition law cannot be relied on to police things. Mr Hunt must look again at the UK’s media ownership rules as a matter of urgency.
A proper definition of media plurality is needed. It is illogical to regulate it only when there is a change of control. Factors such as organic growth and technological change do lead to big shifts in media consumption – and hence plurality. Preserving this is fundamentally important in a democracy. The law must be changed to secure it.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty