Virgin Media has had a competition tribunal appeal rejected that, if upheld, could have resulted in rival pay-TV broadcaster BSkyB being forced to sell its entire 17.9 per cent stake in ITV.
Last month Virgin Media lodged an appeal arguing that the Competition Commission failed to properly consider special rules governing the plurality of media ownership in the UK when reaching its decision to force Sky to sell down its stake in ITV to less than 7.5 per cent. The Competition Appeal Tribunal has turned down the appeal to have the plurality issue re-examined, which could theoretically have resulted in Sky being forced to sell its whole ITV stake.
“We are of the view that for the tribunal to remit the plurality issue to the Commission and the secretary of state would serve no useful purpose as, whatever their findings on that issue, there is no realistic prospect that an additional or different remedy would be recommended or imposed.”
Virgin Media has one month to lodge an appeal over the CAT decision.