UPDATE 12:10 EDT: The Wall Street Journal has clarified, saying that News Corp. has merely altered the concessions it had added to its bid for BSkyB. Previously, News Corp. had offered to spin off its 24-hour Sky News channel to ward off concerns about media domination.
News Corp. has now withdrawn these concessions, and said in a statement that if Jeremy Hunt, the U.K. Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, should “decide on this basis to refer the proposed transaction to the Competition Commission for a detailed review,” News Corp. is “ready to engage with the Competition Commission on substance.”
News Corp. added in its brief statement that it “continues to believe that, taking into account the only relevant legal test, its proposed acquisition will not lead to there being insufficient plurality in news provision in the U.K.”
Brand Republic said that the matter will be referred to the commission this afternoon.
UPDATE 11:50 EDT: New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter tweeted that News Corp. would not be withdrawing from the BSkyB deal.
His tweet reads, “News Corp is NOT withdrawing BSkyB bid. It says bid ‘will NOT lead to there being insufficient plurality in news provision in the UK.'”
Raw Story will update this space when more information becomes available.
AFP, 11:43 EDT: NewsCorp. withdraws BSkyB bid concessions amid scandal
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation on Monday withdrew its offer to hive off Sky News as a concession to the British government in its bid to take full control of BSkyB, the company said.
“News Corporation today announces that it is withdrawing its proposed undertakings,” said a company statement, amid the phone-hacking scandal that led to the demise of the News of the World tabloid at the weekend.