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Government to announce media “super-watchdog”

The UK government is due to outline plans for a new media watchdog, dubbed Ofcom, in its communications white paper today.

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LONDON (Brand Republic) – The UK government is due to outline plans for a new media watchdog, dubbed Ofcom, in its communications white paper today.

Ofcom is designed to bring to an end the “alphabet soup” of media regulators and will cover radio, television, advertising, telecoms, the press and the internet. It will also take away some of the BBC’s self-regulatory powers.

The Independent Television Commission, the Radio Authority, the Radio Communications Agency, the Broadcasting Standards Commission and Oftel will all be merged to form the new regulator. It is understood that it will also take over some of the roles of the British Board of Film Classification.

Ofcom will have the power to investigate complaints about content and to fine companies for anti-competitive behaviour, but it will not regulate over mergers and acquisition. This power will remain with existing competition authorities.

Integral to the “super-regulator” is an independently appointed consumer panel, which will advise the body on its regulatory powers and on matters of public opinion and programme quality.

The white paper is expected to outline proposals for relaxed ownership rules, to allow media companies to grow.



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