LONDON Dec 19 Rupert Murdoch said on Monday he
had never asked a British prime minister for anything, seeking
to play down his influence ahead of what is likely to be a
politically charged approval process for his purchase of the
pay-TV group Sky.
The 85-year-old's Twenty-First Century Fox made a
formal approach to take full control of the British-based Sky
last week, reigniting a row over whether the media mogul
controls too much of Britain's media.
In a short letter to the Guardian newspaper on Monday,
Murdoch said he had never asked a prime minister for anything.
"On a number of occasions now your paper has quoted me as
saying: 'When I go into Downing Street, they do what I say; when
I go to Brussels, they take no notice,'" Murdoch wrote.
"There is much fake news published about me, but let me make
clear that I have never uttered those words. I have made it a
principle all my life never to ask for anything from any prime
The letter, signed: Rupert Murdoch, New York, USA, was
published on the Guardian website.
Murdoch's previous attempt to buy the 61 percent of Sky he
did not already own was scuppered in 2011 by a phone-hacking
scandal at one of his tabloid newspapers.
The British government will have to decide in the new year
whether to refer the new bid for further scrutiny by the media
(Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Stephen Addison)