I guess because it’s a private corporation it’s not regulated (by Ofcom). This is similar to the banks trafficking in unregulated derivatives. Where there is room for abuse, private co.’s will drive a truck through.
. . . I would say – after thinking about this for five minutes – and picking up on the reg/nonreg of broadcast v. print – that a balance needs to be struck between press regulation and corporate media concentration. A self regulating press can only work if there is a strong underlying dynamic of competition. In the UK, pre-Murdoch, this was present. Post-Murdoch it’s become absent as Murdoch has used the size and monopoly position of his empire to throw elections and drown public debate with the fire hose of a monopoly distribution model that marginalizes all dissent in the US and much of the dissent in the UK. Tying regulations to size and influence peddling would be an absolute minimum in my view. In the case of Murdoch’s press, given the size and corruption of the social contract, all his papers – both in the UK and the US should come with a warning label: Views and opinions dictated by corporate interests for profit.
Net, net, the government – doing something that gov’ts do well – should promote competition by breaking up any media; broadcast, newspaper that gets bigger than 10% of the market. The moguls will say they can’t compete, yet, look at the web – there are thousands of blogs competing – each with less than 2% of the market. Don’t listen to moguls. Don’t let moguls write the laws. Unfortunately, in the US, moguls in various industries write the laws governing those industries and the result is that the US has lost all competitiveness.