Ofcom backs media ownership reviews


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The Independent Online

The state of media ownership should be assessed around once every four years, regulator Ofcom has recommended.

The review would cover all news and current affairs, including the BBC, with online media also part of any assessment.

The proposals are contained in a report, which has been submitted to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, that was prompted by News Corp's failed BSkyB takeover bid.

A review, recommended to take place once every four or five years, would be designed to check that a single media owner or outlet has not become too powerful.

Communications regulator Ofcom stopped short of recommending a specific cap on newspaper or media ownership.

"Setting absolute limits leaves no room to take account of the broader context, and this creates a risk that it is not possible to address issues of commercial sustainability and innovation in an appropriate manner," it said.

"On balance, we do not believe introducing a prohibition on share to be advisable currently."