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It has been a long while since the word 'frenzy' has been abused so roundly in the nationals. Frenzy as in feeding frenzy. Some even went as far as to supply pictures of sharks to illustrate the thrashing around in the media lagoon that we can expect in the wake of the Communications Bill.
Just about every UK media owner is reckoned to be up for sale thanks to the incredibly liberal proposals contained in the Bill, which could make our market the most open in the world. Relaxation of cross-media ownership laws will not only allow existing UK media owners to extend their fiefdoms into new sectors; it will give the big US media owners carte blanche to enter the market.
Much of the gossip and theorising focused on the Government's apparent desire to punish ITV. Depending on whichever source you listen to, this was begun either by Clive Hollick or more directly by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the Department of Trade and Industry.
Lord Hollick was squeezed out of ITV ownership in the last round of consolidation and would presumably be satisfied if Carlton and Granada were squeezed off the media map altogether. A buoyant market will also enable him to sell his stake in …