"News Corp's BSkyB bid referred by Hunt to Competition Commission" - The Guardian 11th July
Telegraph "News Corp forces government to refer BSkyB deal to Competition Commission"
The Broadcasting Act 1990 is a massive piece of legislation. Part I of the Act dealt with Independent Television Services including the licensing of service providers and Part I Chapter 1 deals with the regulation of television services generally. On top of that is another blockbuster - the Broadcasting Act 1996. This is concerned with Digital television broadcasting and, again, deals with licensing. Then there is the Communications Act 2003 which sets out the powers and duties of the Office of Communications (Ofcom).
Note: The 1990 Act set up the Independent Television Commission (ITC) which existed from 1st January 1991 until replaced, from 29th December 2003, by the Office of Communications (Ofcom). Ofcom became responsible for licensing.
The 1990 Act section 3(3):
Sub para (b) appears to imply that Ofcom has a role to ensure that they are aware of anything which might affect the license holder's "fit and proper person" status.
The word "person" will include
not just individuals but a body of persons corporate or unincorporate - Interpretation Act 1981.
The Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes wrote to Ofcom asking them to consider the question. An informative article is that by Robert Preston on the BBC News website - "Scandal could influence Ofcom over News Corp's BSkyB bid." The article is of particular interest because it includes the text of a letter sent by Ofcom to John Whittingdale MP - Chairman of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee. The Chief Executive of Ofcom has indicated that - "in considering whether any licensee remains a 'fit and proper' person to hold broadcasting licences Ofcom will consider any relevant conduct of those who manage and control such a licence."
A further interesting article is by Eleanor Steyn - a media lawyer with Michael Simkins LLP - where it is considered how the fit and proper person test has been applied in the past.
More details of Ofcom - its Board etc. may be seen on their website.