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Majority 'oppose Murdoch merger'

The overwhelming majority of Britons oppose the planned merger between media giant News Corp and satellite broadcaster BSkyB, a new survey has suggested.

Just 5% of respondents indicated they supported the proposed deal which would allow Rupert Murdoch-controlled News Corp to take over BSkyB.

The YouGov survey was commissioned by campaign network Avaaz and carried out online, questioning a total of 2,295 British adults.

Almost 60% of respondents said Mr Murdoch had too much influence on British politics while 64% said the merger would give News Corporation and Mr Murdoch too much power over the media.

Of the participants, 58% agreed that Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt should have referred the deal to the Competition Commission and just over half of those quizzed said they thought the Government had not acted neutrally in the decision.

The poll comes on the final day of the Government's public consultation on the BSkyB takeover.

Alice Jay, campaign director of Avaaz, said: "This deal gives one man the keys to the media kingdom. Rupert Murdoch's so-called 'safeguards' of BSkyB's independence are about as reliable as a British airport in a blizzard."

The research disclosed there is a notable link between political persuasion and support for the deal with almost three quarters of Liberal Democrat voters believing Murdoch has too much influence on British politics.

Ms Jay added: "This poll shows that only 5% of the British public support the sale. Over 100,000 citizens have written to Jeremy Hunt calling on him to reconsider and refer the deal to the Competition Commission. David Cameron's government is making it look like it cares more about building its relationship with Murdoch than with the British people."

A spokeswoman for News Corp declined to comment on the results of the poll.


From Belfast Telegraph