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December 6, 2006

NTL abandons ITV bid

NTL Inc has abandoned plans to acquire the UK's largest commercial television broadcaster ITV, and has strongly criticized British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc after the UK satellite broadcaster acquired a stake in the TV channel.

By CBR Staff Writer

NTL already offers quad-play (mobile phone, fixed-line, pay TV, and internet access) services in the UK, and is competing against the Carphone Warehouse Plc, BT Group Plc, and Sky Broadcasting, for dominance in the highly UK market.

NTL had made a 4.7bn pounds ($9.24bn) takeover approach for ITV, but this was rejected in November by ITV as too low. Days later, rival BSkyB paid 940m pounds ($1.85bn) for a 17.9% stake in ITV, a move that effectively scuppered any chance of NTL completing the deal.

On Wednesday, NTL announced to the London Stock Exchange that it had no present intention of making an offer for the broadcaster and said it was unlikely to strike a deal on terms acceptable to NTL.

Hook, UK-based NTL also said that BSkyB’s stake presents serious competition and public interest issues, and said it has submitted its views to the UK’s Office of Fair Trading and communications regulator Ofcom.

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