Full text of Jeremy Hunt's letter to Ed Richards

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Ed Richards: chief executive of Ofcom
Ed Richards: chief executive of Ofcom

Read the full text of Jeremy Hunt's letter to Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards, on whether he should look again at the News Corporation/BSkyB merger in the light of recent developments.

Department for
Culture, Media
and Sport
2-4 Cockspur Street
London SW1Y SDH
11 July 2011
Tel 0207211 6000
Fax 020 7211 6249

Ed Richards
Chief Executive
Riverside House
2a Southwark Bridge Road

11 July 2011

Dear Ed

As you are aware, my consultation on the revised undertakings in lieu offered by News Corporation closed on Friday at midday. I am now considering the responses to that consultation, but, as I stated on Friday, I anticipate this taking some time. Prior to the completion of that process, I would be grateful if you could let me know whether the events that followed your letter of 22 June change in any way the advice you offered, particularly with respect to three areas:

1. The closure of the News of the World in the last week is a significant change to the media landscape. I would be grateful if you could indicate whether this development (and/or the events surrounding it) gives you any additional concerns in respect of plurality over and above those raised in your initial report to me on this matter received on 31 December 2010

2. I am aware of your letter on Friday to John Whittingdale MP in relation to any proposed fit and proper persons test and would be grateful if you could keep me informed of progress. In particular, I would be grateful if you could clarify whether in your view, your current consideration or any potential future decision in relation to the fit and proper persons test might have an impact on the merger and my decision on media plurality or on the proposed undertakings in lieu.

3. Given the well-publicised matters involving the News of the World in the past week that led to its closure, I would be grateful if you could let me know whether you consider that any new information that has come to light causes you to reconsider any part of your previous advice to me including your confidence in the credibility, sustainability or practicalities of the undertakings offered by News Corporation.

I appreciate that Ofcom will be advising me on the response to the second consultation, but it would be of great assistance if you were able to let me have your response as swiftly as you are able.

Yours ever
Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP
Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport


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