BSkyB considers appeal against ITV decision

LONDON - BSkyB is considering whether to appeal against today's Competition Appeal Tribunal decision that it must sell down its stake in ITV from 17.9% to below 7.5%.

BSkyB considers appeal against ITV decision
BSkyB considers appeal against ITV decision

BSkyB is expected to register for an appeal as it will want to avoid a firesale of its stake and buy some time to allow ITV's share price to rise.

All interested parties, namely ITV, BSkyB and Virgin Media, have the option to appeal against the decision that was made earlier today ratifying the Competition Commission's decision last year, which was endorsed by Secretary of State for Business John Hutton.

BSkyB is expected to announce whether it will pursue an appeal, which must be based on a point of law. All interested parties that wish to appeal must apply to the Competition Appeal Tribunal for leave to appeal, before it is advanced to the Court of Appeal.

A BSkyB spokesman told Mediaweek.co.uk: "BSkyB notes today's judgment by the Competition Appeal Tribunal in respect of its investment in ITV plc. We will review the judgement carefully and decide on next steps in due course."

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform is expected to produce its own report on today's ruling.

The tribunal's dismissal of Sky's appeal will inevitably trigger a bidding war for the stake in ITV. Previous interested parties included Big Brother producer Endemol.

BSkyB purchased the 17.9% stake in November 2006 for £940m, but it is now believed to be worth in the region of £300m.

The satellite broadcaster is being forced to sell the majority of its 17.9% stake due to the concern that its shareholding created a considerable lessening of competition within the UK TV market.

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