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Ecclestone was in the race to buy The Times

NEWS STORY
04/08/2011

The phone hacking scandal which has brought Rupert Murdoch's News International business to its knees is still rumbling on. Earlier this week yet another boss from the company was arrested in connection with it and many reports have indicated that the worst could still be yet to come.

The company has already closed the News of the World newspaper which was responsible for bringing the scandal into the public eye, and it has been suggested that it may have to sell The Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times to completely leave the scandal behind. If this happens, one name which can already be crossed off the list of potential buyers is F1's boss Bernie Ecclestone. According to an article in the Express by Pitpass' business editor Christian Sylt, Ecclestone has been there and done that.

"Years ago I was considering buying the Times," he told Sylt adding "I wouldn't consider buying it now because since then things have changed newspaper-wise. The trouble is you are in competition with people that want to write bad things and that is what people want to read so unless you write bad things you won't sell newspapers. Nobody really wants to read the truth any more. The world has changed an awful lot."

Although Ecclestone never took over the Times he did own two publications - F1 Magazine and EuroBusiness. Both closed in 2004 and he hasn't been involved with publishing since then.

If News International is forced to sell its remaining UK newspapers it is thought that the likely bidders could range from Alexander Lebedev, the Russian businessman who owns the Independent, to the emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa, who funds al-Jazeera. However it is one race which Ecclestone won't be taking part in.

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