Hugh Grant Urges EU to Consider Media Ownership Limits

Divine Brown for Sale on Sunset Again

Storied Hollywood hangout Ye Coach & Horses reopened last month as the Pikey. L.A. hospitality impresario Sean MacPherson and partner Jared Meisler couldn't use the old name, so they first thought about calling it Grant & Brown, as a wry nod to Hugh Gran.

The actor went to Brussels to continue his push against the power of media moguls like News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch amid the phone hacking scandal.

LONDON - Hugh Grant traveled to Brussels to meet with European Union regulators this week to continue his push for media ownership restrictions. 

Amid the phone hacking scandal, the actor has called for restrictions on British tabloids newspapers and such media moguls as News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch.

On Tuesday, Grant met with the EU's media regulator, Neelie Kroes, to share his views. "Europe in our dreams would help us to restrict...the amount of a certain media that you could own," Reuters late Tuesday quoted him as saying after the meeting. "Otherwise you have these big corporations dictating our public life."

Reuters also quoted him as saying that he would like to see rules restricting the market share that a single media company could control, but expressed doubt that the British government would pursue such a limit. He didn't specify a market share limit he would like to be targeted.

EU rules don't specifically regulate media market share as the common European market's competition rules cover all industries.

Grant's comments came as the Leveson Inquiry in the U.K. continues to explore media ethics and possible new regulations. They also came after U.K. media regulator Ofcom recently said it opposes absolute ownership limits, but suggested a review of media plurality every four or five years.


Twitter: @georgszalai