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Monday 26 February, 2007

Dept.Trade&Industry

British Sky Broadcasting/ITV

Dept Trade & Industry
26 February 2007

BRITISH SKY BROADCASTING / ITV

In accordance with Section 44A of the Enterprise Act, Secretary of State for
Trade and Industry, Alistair Darling, has today asked Ofcom to conduct an
initial investigation into British Sky Broadcasting Group's acquisition of a
17.9% stake in ITV plc.  This means Ofcom must provide advice to him by 27 April
on whether the case raises public interest concerns about the number of
different owners of media enterprises.

Alistair Darling said 'I am today asking Ofcom to conduct an initial
investigation into the public interest issues that may be raised by this
transaction and to report back to me'.

He went on to say 'I wish to emphasise that this decision only means there will
be an initial investigation by Ofcom and is without prejudice to any decisions I
take subsequently on whether a fuller investigation by the Competition
Commission may be necessary'.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announced on 12 January 2007 its provisional
view that a relevant merger situation may have been created for the purposes of
the Enterprise Act 2002 as a result of British Sky Broadcasting Group acquiring
material influence over ITV plc.  The OFT will also report to the Secretary of
State on 27 April on this and other competition issues raised by the
transaction.


Notes to editors

 1. The full text of Alistair Darling's statement to Parliament on this matter is
    attached to this press notice along with a copy of the intervention notice
    and request to Ofcom.  These documents will be made available on the DTI
    website shortly.

 2. Section 42(2) of the Enterprise Act 2002 provides that the Secretary of State
    may intervene in mergers where he considers (i) there are reasonable grounds
    to suspect that a relevant merger situation may have been created and (ii)
    there are grounds to consider that a public interest consideration specified
    in Section 58 of the Enterprise Act may be relevant to a consideration of
    the merger.

 3. Section 44 of the Enterprise Act, provides that, where the Secretary of State
    gives an intervention notice, the Office of Fair Trading must report to him
    on the competition effects of the transaction by such a date he may specify.
    Section 44A of the Enterprise Act provides that, where the Secretary of
    State gives an intervention notice in respect of a media public interest
    consideration, Ofcom must report to him on the public interest consideration
    specified.  On receipt of these reports, the Secretary of State will
    consider whether to use his powers under section 45 of the Enterprise Act to
    make a reference to the Competition Commission.

 4. The Secretary of State has asked the Office of Fair Trading and Ofcom to
    report to him by 27 April.  The public interest consideration specified in
    the intervention notice is the one at Section 58(2C)(a) of the Enterprise
    Act.  This is as follows:


'58(2C)(a)  the need, in relation to every different audience in the United
Kingdom or in a particular area or locality of the UK, for there to be a
sufficient plurality of persons with control of the media enterprises serving
that audience.'


INTERVENTION NOTICE GIVEN PURSUANT TO SECTION 42 ENTERPRISE ACT 2002

Whereas the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds for suspecting that it is
or may be the case that a relevant merger situation, as defined in section 23 of
the Enterprise Act 2002 ('the Act'), has been created in that:

(a)    enterprises carried on by or under the control of British Sky
Broadcasting Group plc ceased to be distinct from enterprises carried on by or
under control of ITV plc on 17th November 2006; and

(b)   the value of the turnover in the United Kingdom of the enterprise taken
over exceeds £70 million;

Whereas the Secretary of State believes that it is or may be the case that the
media public interest consideration specified in section 58(2C)(a) of the Act
may be relevant to a consideration of the relevant merger situation concerned;

Now, therefore, the Secretary of State in exercise of his powers under section
42(2) of the Act, hereby gives this intervention notice to the Office of Fair
Trading and requires it to investigate and report in accordance with section 44
of the Act within the period ending on 27 April 2007.


REQUEST TO OFCOM TO PRODUCE A REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 44A ENTERPRISE ACT 2002

Whereas the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds for suspecting that it is
or may be the case that a relevant merger situation, as defined in section 23 of
the Enterprise Act 2002 ('the Act'), has been created in that:

(a) enterprises carried on by or under the control of British Sky Broadcasting
Group plc ceased to be distinct from enterprises carried on by or under control
of ITV plc on 17th November 2006; and

(b) the value of the turnover in the United Kingdom of the enterprise taken over
exceeds £70 million;

Whereas, the Secretary of State, in exercise of his powers under section 42(2)
of the Act, has today issued an intervention notice to the Office of Fair
Trading requiring it to investigate and report in accordance with section 44 of
the Act within the period ending on 27 April 2007;

Whereas, the intervention notice has mentioned that the media public interest
consideration specified in section 58(2C)(a) of the Act may be relevant to a
consideration of the relevant merger situation concerned;

Now, therefore, the Secretary of State, in exercise of his powers under section
44A of the Act, requests OFCOM to investigate and report in accordance with
section 44A of the Act within the period ending on 27 April 2007.


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