OFT looks at Sky's 17.9% stake in ITV

The Office of Fair Trading said yesterday (Monday) that it would be examining the £940m acquisition by BSkyB of a 17.9% stake in ITV.

"We will look at is as a merger. Our mergers team will look at the market share and the impact on competition, and if it feels there are concerns we will launch a formal process," a spokesman said.

Sky's shock move last Friday has been met with uproar by NTL, which had been planning a £5bn bid to merge with ITV.

The cable firm, soon to rebrand as Virgin Media, claims the purchase is a blatant bid to block its move to create a strong opponent to the satellite giant in the marketplace.

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