BSkyB to appeal?

Sky has until February 25th to decide whether to appeal the Competition Commission’s ruling that it must sell more than half its stake in ITV, a decision that was endorsed by the government this week.

Sky said it will recognise a £343 million (E460m) impairment charge on the whole 17.9 per cent stake in its results for the six months to end December, due next week, because of ITV’s plunging share price.

Opinion is said to be divided at Sky on whether an appeal is worth it. On the letter of competition law they have a good case as 20 per cent holdings are the minium previously taken to threaten undue influence. However compeition and plurality in media ownership is a more subjective judgement and as an appeal is effectively a Judicial Review, Sky would have to show the Comission and the Government willfully or wrecklessly misinterpreted the rules.

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