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Thursday 20 December, 2007

Dept Business&Ent

Competition Commission report

Dept for Business, Enterprise & Reg
20 December 2007

COMPETITION COMMISSION REPORT PUBLISHED


Secretary of State for Business and Enterprise, John Hutton, has today published
the Competition Commission's final report into British Sky Broadcasting Group's
acquisition of a 17.9% stake in ITV plc.

The report follows a detailed investigation by the Competition Commission into:


•        The effects of the transaction on competition and


•        Whether the transaction raises public interest issues relating to the
plurality of persons with control of media enterprises.


The Secretary of State has until 29 January 2008 to consider the report and
announce final decisions.  If any interested party wishes to make further
representations to the Secretary of State on this matter, these should be
submitted by 7 January.


Mr Hutton is required to accept the Competition Commission's findings on the
competition issues but has discretion in making decisions on the effects on
media plurality and also on any appropriate remedial measures.


Notes to editors

 1. On 24 May, the then Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Alistair
    Darling, referred the acquisition to the Competition Commission (CC) for
    investigation under section 45(2) of the Enterprise Act 2002 (the Act).
    Under its terms of reference the CC was required to decide whether a
    relevant merger situation had been created; whether that situation would be
    expected to result in an substantial lessening of competition (SLC) in any
    market or markets in the UK; and whether, taking into consideration only any
    SLC and the media public interest consideration specified in the reference,
    the merger may be expected to operate against the public interest.

 2. The public interest provisions of the Act permit the Secretary of State to
    intervene in mergers where he considers that it is or may be the case that a
    public interest consideration is relevant to a consideration of the relevant
    merger. The public interest consideration specified in this case is the one
    at section 58(2C)(a) of the Act. This is specified as: 'the need, in
    relation to every different audience in the UK 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'.

 3. The Secretary of State must now decide in accordance with section 54 of the
    Act whether to make an adverse public interest finding and, if so, whether
    to take enforcement action under section 55 of the Act. The Secretary of
    State's reference followed submissions from both the Office of Fair Trading
    and Ofcom, which raised concerns about the acquisition on competition and
    public interest grounds respectively.

 4. For a copy of the report please go to 
    http://www.rns-pdf.londonstockexchange.com/rns/3323k_-2007-12-19.pdf








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