BSkyB Chief Says Company Is 'Independent'
BSkyB chief executive Jeremy Darroch has told Jeff Randall that the company is independent and not controlled by the Murdochs.
Mr Darroch acknowledged that Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation company, which holds a 39.1% stake in BSkyB, had a measure of "influence".
But he insisted to Sky News business presenter Randall, that News Corporation's large stake did not mean that it controlled BSkyB in any way.
Mr Darroch said the Ofcom investigation into whether BSkyB was "fit and proper" to hold a broadcasting licence must focus on the company as an "independent broadcaster" - and not on the activities of News Corporation.
News Corporation, owner of UK newspapers including The Sun and the defunct News Of The World paper, has been embroiled in an phone hacking scandal, the focus of intense media and political scrutiny.
"The question about the broadcast licence is about BSkyB as an independent company and a broadcaster," Mr Darroch said.
"News Corporation are not a majority shareholder of Sky - they do not have control of Sky.
"And Ofcom themselves, only as far back as 2010, concluded that they do not have control of Sky."
However, he continued: "All shareholders have influence and, of course, the bigger the shareholder, the more interaction we will tend to have with them."
Mr Darroch said BSkyB's contribution to customer choice, employment and tax revenue all contributed to its value as a broadcaster.
"I don't think that these things should easily be put at risk by activities in another company."
Mr Darroch also commented on the ongoing saga surrounding culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, accused of advising News Corporation over their bid to buy BSkyB.
Mr Darroch said that BSkyB representatives had attended a number of political networking events but he did not believe that Mr Hunt had been present.
News Corporation was forced to abandon its £8bn bid for the 61% of BSkyB it did not already own after the News of the World phone hacking scandal erupted last summer.
what do you think?
The question is, is there a bigger share holder than Murdoch's News Corporation, if not Murdoch still holds sway.
It looks like, possibly, THE most unlikely-to-be-true statement I ever read.
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So the chief executive of BskyB, part of Murdoch's empire, has been telling Sky news, also part of Murdoch's empire, that he isn't controlled by the Murdoch empire. Is he trying to convince us or himself that he is in charge?
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