This will upset the Murdochs, Rupert and clone James.

Britain’s Court of Appeals has finally ended the family’s attempts to avoid following a directive from the UK competition regulator that it cut its 17.9% stake in terrestrial TV group ITV.

Murdoch’s 38% arm British Sky Broadcasting snapped up the stake to prevent ITV from merging with Virgin Media, a move that would have created a powerful rival to Sky in the commercial TV sector.

The Murdochs and Sky had tried every wriggle to avoid selling off the stake including direct political lobbying. It has been suggested the decision is one of the reasons why News Corp’s London media operations, especially The Sun, will support the opposition Conservatives in the forthcoming UK general election.

A year ago, the government ordered BSkyB to reduce its holding to 7.5%.

BSkyB paid STG940 million ($A1.69 billion) for the ITV shares at 135 pence per share. ITV shares were trading at about 58 pence on Thursday on the London Stock Exchange.

BSkyB has written down the value of the holding.

Peter Fray

Save up to 50% on a year of Crikey.

This extraordinary year is almost at an end. But we know that time waits for no one, and we won’t either. This is the time to get on board with Crikey.

For a limited time only, choose what you pay for a year of Crikey.

Save up to 50% or dig deeper so we can dig deeper.

See you in 2021.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

SAVE 50%