Ofcom may recommend further inquiry into News Corp’s BSkyB bid

Media regulator is likely to demand an investigation by the Competition Commission into BSkyB deal.

Ofcom, which is due to submit its report on News Corporation's controversial bid to take control of BSkyB, on Friday, is likely to recommend a further inquiry into the deal, the Guardian reports.

The media regulator is conducting a "public interest" inquiry into whether News Corporation's buyout of Sky will damage media plurality in the UK.

Although the document, due to be submitted by Ofcom's chief executive Ed Richards to the culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, will initially be kept confidential, many expect the media regulator to demand a further investigation by the Competition Commission.

Hunt will now have ten days to accept Ofcom's recommendation and refer the deal to the Competition Commission, which will have six months time to complete its inquiry.

Rival media groups in the UK, including the BBC, the Guardian Media Group, the Telegraph Media Group and Trinity Mirror, have expressed concern that buying the remaining 61 per cent stake in BSkyB would lead to Murdoch having a disproportionate influence over the British media.

They are particularly concerned because Murdoch's newspaper titles, including the Times, the Sun and the News of the World, already account for more than 37 per cent of the newspaper sales in the UK.