Sky launches appeal against forced ITV sale

BSkyB has launched its High Court appeal against the Competition Commission ruling forcing it to reduce its 17.9 per cent stake in free-to-air broadcaster ITV to below 7.5 per cent.BSkyB's counsel told the Court of Appeal it will dispute the scope and depth of the Competition Appeal Tribunal (where Sky already lost one appeal) review, and questioned the standard of proof used to allege the stake would reduce competition.

BSkyB bought the shares in 2006 for 940 million pounds (E1.046bn), or more than 135 pence per share, effectively blocking cable group NTL, now Virgin Media, from buying ITV. If Sky were to sell it would book a massive loss (it has already made substantial write-downs on the investment) – current share price is 44p.