BT's digital TV venture to go ahead this year

BT’s digital TV venture to go ahead this year
Richard Wilson
BT’s digital TV tie-up with BSkyB looks set to go ahead later this year following a regulatory green light from the European Commission.
The joint venture known as British Interactive Broadcasting (BiB), should bring telecoms services and satellite TV together in an unprecedented way to provide interactive TV services such as video on demand and home-shopping.
Concerns had been raised in Brussels that the respective market strengths of BT and BSkyB would give BiB an unfair advantage in the fledgling digital TV market. There was also a concern that BiB would deflect BT from its core telecoms network investment. Only last week BT announced a new ?800m network expansion plan.
Other shareholders in the venture are Midland Bank and Matsushita Electric. BT made pre-tax profits last year of ?3.2bn which were virtually unchanged on 1996. Sales were 5 per cent up at ?15.6bn.

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