Business secretary John Hutton has ordered BSkyB to reduce its 17.9% stake in the commercial broadcaster ITV. It follows the recommendation by the Competition Commission that Sky should reduce the holding to below 7.5% because it hampered competition.
The ruling could cost BSkyB £250 million, based on yesterday’s closing prices, given the fall in ITV shares since the stake was originally purchased in November 2006.
BSkyB now has four weeks to lodge an appeal, should it choose to do so. In a statement BSkyB said it was considering the ruling.