BSkyB to appeal ITV ruling

BSkyB is to continue legal action in the fight to hold on to the 17.9 per cent stake it holds in rival broadcaster ITV. The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal last month upheld an original ruling by the Competition Commission that by holding the stake BSkyB had an adverse impact on the market. But Sky has confirmed that it has lodged an application with the CAT to be given permission to take its appeal further.

If the tribunal rules in its favour, with a decision not expected for several weeks, it would mean the case going on to the Courts of Appeal. The 696 million shares in ITV were orginally bought by James Murdoch, then chief executive of BSkyB, in October 2006 just as a bid to buy ITV by Virgin Media was reaching an advanced stage.

The satellite broadcaster has always argued that it is a long-term investor, though most saw the move as an effort to block a merger of the UK's largest terrestrial and cable broadcasters.

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