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British probe Murdoch media influence

The British government opened an unprecedented investigation into Rupert Murdoch's influence over UK media.

The inquiry is aimed largely at the news operation and how Murdoch's Sky Network will work with the new satellite delivery system ITV now that he owns almost 18% of it. The Competition Commission will report its findings in November and could force Sky to sell its stake in ITV if the investment means less competition, The Independent said. Some officials described Sky's purchase of an ITV stake as large enough to qualify as a merger and threaten the independence of the satellite service. News International controls 36% of the UK newspaper market, while a combined Sky-ITV controls 30% of the national television news market, according to the British figures. News International also owns The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun and the News of the World. Murdoch is Sky's chairman. (