The European Commission’s says that the British Telecommunications Plc and the satellite TV company British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc joint venture British Interactive Broadcasting Ltd, risks creating a monopoly. BIB is to offer interactive services and digital TV to consumers next year, and is currently being investigated by the EC. In a related announcement the EC has decided that it is going to stop the possible creation of super monopolies, in telecoms and Cable TV by forcing incumbent telecoms operators to divest themselves of cable TV interests. The two recent moves to split off cable interests from incumbent carriers were taken by the Netherlands carrier Koninklijke PTT Nederland NV(CI No 3,312), and Deutsche Telekom (CI No 3,999), both as a result of EC pressure. But whereas Koninklijke sold its cable interests to France Telecom, Deutsche Telekom just spun its cable operation into a separate company. The EC is likely to press the German company to further separate of phone and TV interests so that it no longer has shareholdings in the cable company.
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