Richard Branson is a British entrepreneur known for his philanthropic projects and his taste for adventure. He is the founder and chairman of Virgin Group Ltd., a conglomerate of separately run companies which include radio stations, airlines, and mobile phones. The Virgin Group now owns around 200 companies in over 30 countries. Virgin also plans to launch commercial space flights over the next few years in a venture called Virgin Galactic.
Branson was born in 1950 in Surrey, England, and was educated at Stowe School, where he established a national magazine, Student, at the age of 16. He is married with two children and lives in London and Oxfordshire.
Richard Branson: I think the media has to regulate itself, and the government should only intervene if the media becomes anti-competitive. What we need is more competition. And I think you can get more competition, you’ll have a lot more balanced media.
I think what governments have got to be careful about is letting too much media be owned by too few people. And of course, when those media barons support the government, they are out to be allowed to get bigger and bigger and bigger. And it takes a brave government to stand up to them. In Britain, we’ve finally got a government that is, I think, drawing a line in the sand with Rupert Murdock, and has referred a number of decisions that he has taken recently to the Monopolies Mergers Commission. And I think that was a brave government to do that.
Recorded on: July 5, 2007 at The Aspen Ideas Festival