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
A clearer copy of email evidence submitted in the jury bundles on the last part of the prosecution case has been released by the CPS. The first email, from 11th of July 2011 shows an exchange between Rebekah Brooks and James Murdoch, which starts with a discussion of the sales for the last edition on the News of the World.
James Murdoch replies, querying why Brooks would put such things on email. The Daily Telegraph had reported that day on the ‘smoking emails’ which caused the closure of the News of the World. It was also the day that The Times led on reports that the police wanted to interview Brooks. Continue reading