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MS partner Telewest gobbles up Cable London

Does this mean the UK now counts as fully consolidated?

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Microsoft's prospects of setting the standards in the British cable TV industry have improved slightly, with the news that Telewest is buying the 50 per cent of Cable London it doesn't already own. As part of its recent deals with AT&T Microsoft itself is acquiring a stake in Telewest. But Cable London isn't quite the heavy-hitter its name might suggest. It covers only around 440,000 homes in parts of London, and so far hasn't exactly been in the vanguard of the interactive cable revolution. Its 50:50 ownership by NTL and Telewest was basically unfinished business from this year's massive consolidation of the UK cable industry. Telewest is paying NTL UKP 428 million for the stake. This is on the high side, but a somewhat more dynamic approach could win it greater penetration in the Cable London franchise area. Register factoid: Earlier this year Cable London refused point blank to transfer a Register phone number from BT to its own phone service. There was a certain twisted logic to this which we won't go into here, but Cable London should really report itself to Oftel. ® Daily Net finance news from The Register

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