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Virgin Media will file appeal for Competition Commission's Conclusions on BSkyB & ITV

# 25 February 2008, 15:30 by Cable Forum

Virgin Media have announced today that they are to file for an appeal with the Competition Appeal Tribunal, requesting a review of conclusions to the Competition Commission and the Secretary of State for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform regarding BSkyB’s acquisition of a 17.9 per cent stake in ITV

From the announcement, Virgin Media state that they feel this appeal is important because they feel the need to fight for a more dynamic and competitive media landscape in the U.K.

The Cable group has always insisted that BSkyB’s 17.9% stake in ITV, in which BSkyB paid £940m, back in November 2006, was a deliberate attempt to prevent the rise of a stronger competitor.

Virgin Media have indicated they strongly support the Competition Commission’s conclusions, in that BSkyB’s acquisition has led to a substantial lessening of competition, Virgin Media is appealing the Competition Commission’s recommendation that a reduction of BSkyB’s stake in ITV to 7.5 per cent is adequate to address this problem.

The Cable group is also appealing the Competition Commission’s conclusions that the acquisition has not materially affected the sufficiency of plurality in the U.K.’s media.

VM feel that BSkyB’s stake in ITV is exactly the kind of scenario that the media plurality provisions of the Enterprise Act 2003 were designed to address. They have also said that this is the first time that these rules have been tested and they believe the Competition Commission made significant errors in interpreting and applying these rules.

VM state that if these are not corrected, this error will undermine the future efficacy and objectives of the public interest regime set out in the Act.

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