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Virgin Media may not go through with its threat to take BSkyB to court this week, the firm has confirmed.

Following the withdrawal of Sky channels from cable TV, Virgin gave Sky a 30 day deadline on 5 March, which runs out this Wednesday. Today, however, Virgin said it may not act this week. A spokesman said: "The way to look at it is that we haven't decided yet."

When Virgin made the High Court threat, a Sky statement said: "Sky will defend itself vigorously should Virgin Media decide to extend its PR campaign to the courts."

Virgin said today that negotiations to resolve the dispute over the rates it pays its satellite competitor to broadcast Sky News and Sky One had not moved since the start of the stand-off. The spokesman said: "We haven't heard from Sky and we haven't finished our [court] submission yet."

Since the launch of Virgin Media in February, the two firms have become fierce rivals on three fronts: broadband, pay TV, and home phone. In March, communications regulator Ofcom said it would investigate whether consumers had suffered in the crossfire. ®

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