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Last Updated: Monday, 29 October 2007, 13:12 GMT
BSkyB offers ITV vote surrender
Sky remote control
BSkyB's purchase of a stake in ITV was controversial from the start
BSkyB has offered to give up some of its voting rights in ITV in a bid to be allowed to keep its holding in the terrestrial broadcaster.

Rupert Murdoch-owned BSkyB bought a 17.9% stake in ITV in November 2006 but the Competition Commission has ruled that it makes the firm too dominant.

This means that BSkyB could be forced to sell some or all of its ITV holding.

BSkyB has now said it is willing to put 3% of its voting rights into a trust overseen by institutional investors.

More needed?

However, analysts are unconvinced that the offer would be enough to appease the commission.

The watchdog had earlier said that a behavioural remedy, such as reducing voting rights, was unlikely to be an effective solution even though it would consider all suggestions.

BSkyB argues that by only having control of 14.9% of voting rights, it would be "clearly insufficient, on any reasonable basis of calculation, to block a special resolution".

Earlier this month, the Competition Commission said BSkyB's stake in ITV, bought for 940m, would allow BSkyB to influence the broadcaster's strategy.

But it said it did not believe the stake brought competition concerns in areas such as advertising or TV news.

The commission is now consulting on what could be done, including possibly forcing the sale of the stake.

A final decision on what action should be taken will be made by the secretary of state for business, John Hutton.

SEE ALSO
BSkyB criticised over ITV stake
02 Oct 07 |  Business
News focus over BSkyB-ITV probe
09 Jul 07 |  Business
Watchdog to probe BSkyB ITV stake
24 May 07 |  Business
BSkyB's ITV move 'needs probing'
27 Apr 07 |  Business
Ofcom to probe BSkyB stake in ITV
26 Feb 07 |  Business

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