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Competition Commission to probe Sky's ITV buy

Sky says: 'Bring it on'

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Almost a month after the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) recommended Sky's purchase of over 19 per cent of ITV be brought to the attention of the Competition Commission, DTI Secretary of State Alistair Darling has done just that.

The buy up was an unexpected and audacious move which prevented a much-rumoured takeover of ITV by Virgin Media, a fierce competitor of Sky.

Sky has always stated that the investment in ITV was just that, a commercial decision within the legal limits of cross-media ownership.

In a brief statement, Sky responded to the announced investigation: "Sky notes today's announcement by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. We look forward to engaging with the Competition Commission as the ongoing regulatory process enters its next phase".

Considering the coincidental timing of the Sky purchase, and the report from the OFT last month, the investigation comes as no surprise and forms only part of a greater drama being played out on, or behind, British TV screens. ®

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