We must fashion a new media landscape | Norman Fowler | Comment is free | The Guardian
The regulations on takeovers of television companies in the United States preclude any foreign company from taking anything but a minority stake in an American channel. For years the position of successive British governments was that the same restriction would apply to American companies unless there were new reciprocal arrangements between the two countries.
The US never showed the slightest interest in changing its position, but overnight in 2003 – at the very last stages of the communications bill – the Blair government threw in the towel. Britain abandoned its defences unilaterally and a grateful Murdoch was presented with his opportunity. It will be fascinating to see whether the coalition government has the courage to reverse that decision. We will see whether the world has really changed.