BSkyB to appeal Competition Commission 'mistake'

BSkyB is to take its case to the Competition Appeals Tribunal and will claim the Competition Commission's findings are mistaken in all material respects. The Commission said BSkyB's purchase of 17.9 per cent of ITV created a merger situation and was prejudicial to competition. The Government accepted the finding and the recommendation that Sky be forced to sell down to below 7.5 per cent, having rejected Sky's offer to put the shares in a blind trust.

It is understood Sky will argue that the Commission is wrong in fact and law; it will say because Sky is a media company it shouldn't alter the regulations that apply to everyone else in terms of what constitutes a merger. The move will prolong the uncertainty over ITV shares – Sky wrote off more than £300 million (E402m) in its latest accounts on its original £940 million investment.

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