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Why Conspiracy Theory Is More Sound Than Rational Explanation

Magazine article Marketing

Why Conspiracy Theory Is More Sound Than Rational Explanation

Article excerpt

The challenge is to find a rational explanation for the actions of Byers

It has been a great week for conspiracy theorists in the media. Thanks are due yet again to Stephen Byers for encouraging imaginations to run free. For very considerable imaginative power is needed to come up with any rational explanation as to why the trade secretary should have referred the CWC-NTL cable deal and Vivendi's purchase of a 24% stake in BSkyB to the Competition Commission.

Even an average conspiracy theorist shed some instant light on the matter. Well, it's obvious isn't it? Vivendi is a French company and NTL could not have successfully bid for CWC without the backing of France Telecom. Come on.

The decisions were announced just when the French government was making up its mind on our beef. If ever there were a "Blair tells frogs to hop off" situation then that is obviously it. The one slight problem with the argument is that the OFT would have had to have been in on it too. But with the OFT anything is possible. The fact that it recommended the Vivendi deal should be allowed is evidence of particular cunning. It was obviously far better to make it look like an independent decision, then all Byers had to do was overrule the OFT. A terrific result.

Even more tasty than the great beef conspiracy is the Murdoch conspiracy. Under this scenario it's payback time for Murdoch after Byers had felt obliged by populist urges to block the perfectly respectable BSkyB/Manchester United deal. In return, not only is the cable consolidation deal blocked for now-beneficiaries BSkyB-but the ambitions of Vivendi, an uncomfortable stake-holder in the satellite group, are torpedoed for now. …

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