Rabbitte: Undue concentration of media ownership 'not acceptable'27/04/2012 - 12:03:25
Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte has said that undue concentration of media ownership in this country is not acceptable.
His comments today follow the departure last week of Gavin O'Reilly from Independent News & Media (IN&M), ending the O'Reilly family's 40-year control of Ireland's biggest newspaper publisher and placing its largest shareholder Denis O'Brien in the driving seat.
The Communications Minister today warned against the ownership of "vast slabs" of the media falling into the hands of any one individual, and said he was keeping a "close eye" on the situation.
"Media affects the character of public debate and public affairs, and indeed the character of democracy itself," he said.
"So therefore we bring different rules to bear when considering prospective media mergers, and dominance… undue concentration of ownership.
"So it wouldn't be acceptable, I think, to most people in society, if one allowed undue concentration to emerge."
IN&M titles here include include the Irish Independent, the Sunday Independent, the Evening Herald, the Sunday World and the Star, as well as 13 regional publications.
Also among O'Brien's extensive Irish media interests are radio stations Newstalk, Today FM, 98 FM, Spin 103.8, Phantom and Spin South West.
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