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U.K. Government Expresses Concern Over BSkyB’s Planned Stake In ITV

By | October 2, 2007

      [10-03-07 – Satellite Today]  BSkyB may have to sell its stake in leading U.K public broadcaster ITV, after U.K. Competition Commission said the deal "restricts competition.”

      BSkyB acquired a nearly 18 percent stake in ITV in November for 940 million British pounds ($1.9 billion). But in an Oct. 2 announcement, the Competition Commission said that BSkyB’s acquisition “restricts competition and therefore operates against the public interest.”

      Commission chairman, Peter Freeman, said, "The acquisition has made BSkyB ITV’s largest shareholder by some margin and whilst our provisional view is that this would not necessarily affect day-to-day operations, BSkyB would be able to influence ITV’s key strategic decisions, particularly relating to investment, whether in content, capacity or new technology.”

      The Commission said it will “consult on possible remedies to address the adverse public interest finding, including possible divestment of the shareholding.”

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