What the politicians said

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"He [Murdoch] is able to cut prices because of his profits from other interests. We are now faced with blatant predatory pricing." Robin Cook, now Foreign Secretary, on 26 June 1994, as Labour's trade and industry spokesman.

"I want an inquiry now before the only choice the British public has is to read the Sun or the Times." Nigel Griffiths, now competition minister, on 26 June 1994.

"Predatory pricing, with the intention of forcing rivals out of the market, will reduce choice and undermine competition." Alistair Darling, now Chief Secretary to the Treasury, in a Commons motion tabled on 5 July 1994.

"I am surprised that [the director-general of Fair Trading] has not shown greater concern at the potential impact of such an intense price war on the diversity of national newspapers in Britain. The real potential problem is that one more might go under."

Chris Smith, now Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, as Labour's spokesman after the Office of Fair Trading had rejected a complaint about Mr Murdoch's predatory pricing, on 22 October 1994.

"The inevitable outcome, unless action is taken, is that Murdoch will weaken his British competitors to the point where he will dominate the market." Mo Mowlam, now Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, as Labour's spokeswoman on national heritage, on 29 June 1994.