Friday, April 27, 2012

#Leveson : Unlawful Hunt - Hunt’s handling of the NewsCorp-BSkyB deal was unlawful

by Carl Gardner on April 25, 2012

Yesterday’s big news was the relevation at the Leveson Inquiry of the e-mails from Frédéric Michel to his NewsCorp colleagues about his contact with Jeremy Hunt, or at least with Jeremy Hunt’s special adviser, while Hunt was preparing to decide whether or not to refer NewsCorp’s bid for BSkyB to the Competition Commission.

To recap, the process was initiated by Vince Cable, who issued a European Intervention Notice in November 2010 under the Enterprise Act 2002, citing concerns about media plurality and requiring the OFT and Ofcom to report. The legislation governing the procedure – article 5 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (protection of Legitimate Interests) order 2003 – required the Secretary of State when deciding whether to refer the matter to the Competition Commission to take account only of the public interest consideration mentioned in the original European Intervention Notice – the plurality of media more