Ofcom reports on BSkyB ownership of ITV stake

Matter referred to Secretary of State

Media regulator Ofcom has completed its investigation into British Sky Broadcasting Group 's (BSkyB) stake in ITV. And the news won't be happy reading for the satellite broadcaster.

Ofcom has advised the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry it believes "there are public interest issues, in relation to sufficient plurality of news provision for both cross media and television news in the UK."

BSkyB bought a 17.9% shareholding in ITV plc after it sought to prevent a Sir Richard-Branson-inspired Virgin buyout of the terrestrial network. The recent rift between Virgin Media and Sky was given extra spice because of that deal.

Secretary of State Alistair Darling will now decide on whether the matter needs to be referred to the Competition Commission, a decision which has to be reached by 26 May, says Ofcom.

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