Sky could be forced to sell ITV stake

BSkyB could be forced to sell its stake in ITV depending on the results of a competition watchdog probe.

Sky paid over £900 million for an 18% stake in ITV last year, which was a strategic buy to stop Virgin Media's bid to take over the company.

Since then the shares have lost value of approximately £200 million, but that's the least of Sky's worries.

Although the 18% ITV stake is below the 20% threshold, the Competition Commission is looking into the matter to see if Sky could influence ITV strategy's "against the public interest".

Sky could block moves by ITV's board to bid for sports rights, or nix other activities that would threaten their own interests.

Virgin has said it's a "a major step towards addressing the problems" and a spokesperson for the company stated:

"Sky should not be permitted to remain in a position where there is any question whatsoever about its ability to influence ITV."

The commission has given all companies involved 3 months to respond to its initial findings.


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