Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

Do Lib Dems Back Break-up Of The BBC?

Lord Oakeshott, the Liberal Democrat peer and close ally of Cable, said: “Liberal Democrats from the cabinet to councillors to Focus deliverers are totally united. We want to … break up the BBC empire.

“It’s far too powerful – we don’t let Tesco have over 35% of the market. This is not just about blocking the bid, it’s about ending a serious danger to our democracy.”

Yes, I’ll ‘fess up, I’ve done a bit of a Hari on his Lordship’s words there. He was, of course, talking about Rupert Murdoch’s bid to control BSkyB, not Auntie Beeb, and the Tesco reference was to 40% market share (the supermarket’s current share is around the 30% mark). The 35% I inserted is, of course, the BBC’s audience share (including 1.7% for it’s 50% share in UKTV, jointly owned with Virgin).

The point, I hope, is clear though. If a market share of more than a third is deemed to be ‘too much’ by those in government or opposition, then fair’s fair: state-owned businesses should be bound by the same criteria – more strict criteria even, given that, unlike NewsCorp’s businesses, the BBC is not exposed to the same natural regulation of the market – i.e. it’s customers. Go on, try un-subscribing to the BBC, and see how far you get without breaking the law.

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