BSkyB has confirmed it is to mount a legal challenge against the Competition Commission report into the 17.9% share held by the pay-TV platform in commercial broadcaster ITV.
Sky is taking its case to the Competition Appeal Tribunal where it will challenge the findings, notably that a merger between ITV and Sky has taken place, and that the holding prevents ITV from pursuing an independent competitive strategy.
Throughout its statement Sky refers to its holding as an “investment”. A number of commentators have argued that the purchase of the 17.9% stake was designed to thwart a takeover bid by rival Virgin Media, the then NTL cable.
“We believe fundamentally that companies have a right to invest within a transparent framework of competition law,” said Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch.
“The Competition Commission has failed to meet the burden of proof required to justify its conclusions. It has built its case on a series of implausible hypotheses and has recommended an arbitrary remedy for a non-existent problem.”
Sky says that even if the Tribunal were to find against it, then the order to reduce its holding to below 7.5% remains disproportionate.