Actor Hugh Grant calls for EU media law

BRUSSELS Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:38pm BST

British actor Hugh Grant arrives at the Leveson Inquiry at the High Court in central London, November 21, 2011. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

British actor Hugh Grant arrives at the Leveson Inquiry at the High Court in central London, November 21, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Winning

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Actor Hugh Grant continued his crusade against Britain's tabloid newspapers on Tuesday when he called on European Union regulators to restrict the influence of media moguls such as Rupert Murdoch.

Grant has been part of a backlash against Britain's tabloids and even turned the tables on the industry by taping a journalist admitting malpractice.

The British actor spoke on Tuesday after a meeting in Brussels with the EU's top media regulator, Neelie Kroes. "Europe in our dreams would help us to restrict ... the amount of a certain media that you could own," he said.

"Otherwise you have these big corporations dictating our public life."

The British press has been rocked by scandal after Rupert Murdoch's News of the World admitted some of its journalists hacked into mobile phone voicemail messages on a regular basis to generate stories.

The admission led to the closure of the newspaper and prompted the government to launch a public inquiry into media ethics.

Grant said his "fantasy" would be to have rules restricting the market share a media company could command, but that he doubted the British government would address the issue.

The actor, who starred in hit films Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral, became a butt of tabloid jokes when he was caught by Los Angeles police with a prostitute in 1995.

There is no pan-European regulation specifically governing media market share. The EU's existing competition law covers all sectors.

(Reporting By Claire Davenport; Editing by Pravin Char)

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