Advanced Television

Virgin appeals Competition Commission report

February 26, 2008

Days after Sky appealed that the UK Competition Commission has gone too far in telling it to reduce its 18 per cent stake to below 7.5 per cent, Virgin has appealed on the grounds it doesn't go far enough.

Virgin want Sky out of ITV altogether saying it believes Sky's motivation in the deal was to stop Virgin's takeover of ITV and to actively reduce competition, or the potential for competition, to itself.

Virgin says, in addition to competition issues, the deal reduced media plurality in particular in news, when taken in the context of Sky's main shareholder News Corp, and its extensive newspaper interests.

“BSkyB’s stake in ITV is exactly the kind of scenario that the media plurality provisions of the Enterprise Act 2003 were designed to address. This is the first time that these rules have been tested and Virgin Media believes the Competition Commission has made significant errors in interpreting and applying these rules. If not corrected, this error will undermine the future efficacy and objectives of the public interest regime set out in the Act,” said Virgin.

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