City File: Carlton bid for ITN tunes in to trouble

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The Independent Online
THE pounds 45m bid for Independent Television News, led by Michael Green's Carlton Communications, may be running into trouble.

The Office of Fair Trading has been probing the deal for three months and there is mounting speculation that it will refer it to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

The grounds for an MMC inquiry would be that Carlton and LWT, another consortium member, own the main domestic rival to ITN - London News Network - and a third consortium member, Reuters Holdings, owns ITN's main rival for international TV news gathering, Reuters TV.

This would bring too much concentration in the industry. However, the MMC may be persuaded that ITN's finances are so perilous that the deal must go through.

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