During the phone hacking scandal that erupted in the summer of 2011, prompting Rupert and James Murdoch to close the News of the World and abandon their bid for the remaining shares of BSkyB, it rapidly became apparent that the political ramifications were more to do with over-concentrated ownership than press regulation. Owning then nearly 40% of the press, and on the verge of taking over Britain’s biggest broadcaster in terms of revenues, Rupert Murdoch was more powerful in media terms than Berlusconi (and the Italian media mogul is at least a citizen of the country he dominates). It was a glaring example of market failure and what Adam Smith calls the ‘special problem’ of monopoly. Continue reading →
This is unprecedented. Normally, the Attorney General can only intervene when charges have been brought and the Contempt of Court Act locks in.
The first question therefore is: who put pressure on the Attorney General to intervene in a BBC documentary, which was delayed twice under legal pressures? Was it the CPS? The Police? Mahmood’s lawyers at Kingsley Napley? Or News UK? Or a combination of those above?