BSkyB ordered to reduce ITV stake

After much anticipation BSkyB has been ordered to sell down its stake in ITV plc to below 7.5% following a ruling by the Competition Appeal Tribunal. Further legal hearings scheduled for next month may require BSkyB may require additional divestments because of the Tribunalís ruling that the Competition Commission may have incorrectly interpreted the rules on media plurality.

BSkyBís £940 million purchase in 2006 effectively blocked a bid for the UK Channel 3-licence holder by rival NTL prior to the cablenet re-emerging as Virgin Media. The holding has subsequently fallen in value to less than £300 million and earlier this month ITV dropped out of the FTSE 100 share index.